Spalding deputy thwarts armed robbery in progress at gas station


An alert Spalding County Sheriff’s Office deputy thwarted what authorities are describing as a violent armed robbery in progress.

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, Deputy Logan Smith was patrolling Highway 19/41 near Birdie Road with his K9 partner, Rambo, at approximately 10 p.m. Thursday when he became spotted two men coming from a nearby wood line to quickly enter the Valero gas station located at 2995 North Expressway.

Suspicious, Smith decided to turn around and check the business.

“As he neared the building, Deputy Smith could see that the store was being robbed, and saw a customer on his knees with his hands on his head. As Smith was notifying other units of the situation, both armed males ran from the building. Deputy Smith hit his K-9 auto-eject and Rambo exited the marked unit to pursue one of the males while Deputy Smith pursued the other,” Dix said. “Deputy Smith caught the suspect he was chasing, was able to subdue him after a brief struggle, and took him into custody. Rambo chased and tackled the suspect he was after and because the suspect chose to try and fight him, he bit the suspect multiple times. The suspect lost that fight, and received multiple scrapes, bruises, and stitches for his efforts.”

Officials say both suspects had thrown their weapons during the foot pursuit, but they were later  recovered near where they were captured.

Arrested was 29-year-old Andy Darrell Flournoy, of Barnesville, and 20-year-old Benjamin Keith Lester,  of Griffin.

Both are facing numerous charges including armed robbery.

“Deputy Smith did an outstanding job of reacting to what he saw when he rode by the store. He went back to check, discovered the robbery in progress, and handled the entire situation exactly as he should have,” Dix said. “He and his K-9 partner Rambo, just like all SCSO K-9’s and their handlers, continuously train to respond to this type of situation and many other scenarios they may encounter as they patrol. Their training paid off last night.”

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