Musgrove brothers arrested in Florida - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Musgrove brothers arrested in Florida

January 7, 2009
by Kristi Wolski

Panama City, FL - (WJHG) - Former Newton Mayor Terry Musgrove is charged with robbing a Florida bank. Musgrove was arrested Tuesday after a dramatic Panama City bank holdup and getaway that included gunfire and a police chase. They're both hospitalized.

Musgrove and his brother, David, were both in a white pickup truck that Bay County Florida deputies forced off Highway 231.

Terry Musgrove was elected mayor of Newton in the early 1980's. He's been in and out of prison for years on burglary and drug convictions. He was most recently released in 2006.

Police say it was the brother, David Musgrove, who stuck up into the People's Bank on Front Beach Road, while Terry Musgrove waited outside in a getaway van.

Investigators say he had on a wig, a hat and sunglasses, and pulled a gun, forced everyone to the floor and robbed a teller.

A witness to the robbery followed them, saw them change vehicles and then dove for cover when the robbers fired shots at her.

Witnesses told Bay County Sheriff's Deputies the two robbery suspects left the People's First Branch in a yellow van. Once they got away from the bank, they ditched the van and took off in a white truck.   Then they fired shots at a woman who witnessed the switch.

"She seemed upset. She had her kids with her and anybody firing around in your direction," said Jason Daffin, Bay Co. Sheriff's Investigator.  "She was pretty shook up."

The men headed east on Front Beach Road, crossed the Hathaway Bridge and turned onto 23rd Street.

From there they headed northeast on Highway 390, then north on Highway 231.

Bay County Sheriff's Deputies were hot on their trail the whole time, in a chase that lasted more than 20 minutes.

"This is one of those pursuits where bank robber, shots fired, you can't call these pursuits off. You have to catch them. These are bad guys and we have to catch them and we did what we could to catch them," said Bay Co. Sheriff Frank McKeithen.

The chase ended on Highway 231, just south of Highway 20.   Deputies performed a pursuit-intervention-technique, or pit-manuever, tapping the back of the truck with the front of a sheriff's vehicle. The suspect's truck spun out of control, rolled several times and hit a utility pole.           

Both men survived the crash, but are being treated at a local hospital. Authorities say they recovered a handgun and the cash from inside of the truck.

During that chase that reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, the Musgrove brothers hit a couple of deputies' cars, a van, and drove around stop sticks.

A Sheriff's office helicopter flying low and just ahead of the suspects to get motorists out of their way, hit a power line, but the pilot regained control and didn't crash.

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