Armed robbery suspects pursued into Baton Rouge

Staff reports

An armed robbery Saturday night in Donaldsonville led to a vehicle and foot pursuit that ended in Baton Rouge, according to Ascension Parish Chief Deputy Tony Bacala.

The armed robbery was reported at 9:40 p.m. Saturday, Bacala said. The victim told deputies that four men came to his and demanded money at gunpoint, the chief deputy said.

Two of the robbers forced the victim into his own car and forced him to drive them to a second house in Donaldsonville to get cash, Bacala said. One of the gunmen struck the victim on the head with the handgun before leaving, he said.

The victim described the car used by the robbers and also identified one of the suspects as Michael Comery, Bacala said.

Deputies broadcasted an alert to area law enforcement to be on the lookout for the suspected vehicle, which was spotted a short time later by an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol sergeant on Interstate 10 near Gonzales, Bacala said.

The sergeant’s attempt to stop the vehicle started a high-speed pursuit into Baton Rouge, the chief deputy said.

Two shots were fired from the suspect vehicle toward the sergeant’s marked unit, but the shots did not strike the unit, Bacala said.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot after stopping in Hooters Restaurant parking lot just off the College Drive exit of Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. Witnesses at the scene reported that they had to evacuate from the nearby restaurants.

Authorities then took two suspects into custody. A combined effort of Louisiana State Police, Baton Rouge Police and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of Comery and Lester Bell, according to Bacala.

He said a bag containing a large amount of money and suspected crack cocaine was found in the area where one of the suspects ran.

Bell, 47, of 8348 Betty Smothers Drive, Baton Rouge, and Comery, 50, of 2329 Conrad Drive, Baton Rouge, were both charged with aggravated battery, armed robbery, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated flight from an officer, Bacala said.

Both were booked into the Ascension Parish Jail in Donaldsonville, the chief deputy said.