Albany business owner chases armed bandits

Ravindrabhai Patel, owner of the Stop and Shop on Cordele Road, is fired upon as he chases a pair of bandits

John Bryan Dabney is wanted on numerous charges, including armed robbery. (Special Photo)

John Bryan Dabney is wanted on numerous charges, including armed robbery. (Special Photo)

ALBANY — When looking down the barrel of a robber’s loaded gun, most people just hand over the cash and hope to see tomorrow. Not Ravindrabhai Patel, owner of the Stop and Shop at 700 Cordele Road. Though unarmed, he chased a gunman from his store and even followed the gunman and his cohort with his car to get the robber’s tag number.

Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick, detective with the Dougherty County Police Department, said the gunman, a white male, entered the store at about 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, holding a small handgun. When the gunman demanded cash, Patel refused, Kirkpatrick said. The robber then took Patel’s cell phone and threw it to the floor, Kirkpatrick said.

Patel told police he chased the bandit, who ran to a black 2002 Honda Accord where another man was waiting. By Patel’s account, the robbers took off in the Honda with the business owner in hot pursuit.

“He chased them down Clark Avenue and then to Cone Street,” Kirkpatrick said. “By the time they reached Leonard Avenue, they were shooting at him and he gave it up.”

Kirkpatrick said Patel was able to get the tag number of the Honda, but his own car was marked in several places by bullets that had been fired at him.

“I was not afraid,” Patel said in a telephone interview with The Albany Herald. “I just wanted to get them to the law, and so I had to have the tag number and the make of their car.”

“He’s lucky he wasn’t hurt or killed,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s good if you can get tag number, but following or chasing armed criminals can be really dangerous. We don’t recommend it.”

Later Wednesday, Kirkpatrick was able to identify the owner of the Honda as John Bryan Dabney, 57. He said he obtained a warrant for Dabney’s arrest. According to Kirkpatrick, Dabney was charged with armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Dabney’s whereabouts were unknown Wednesday evening.

Anyone with information on Dabney or the Honda Accord used in the robbery, tag number PTY8819, is asked to call the Dougherty County Police Department at (229) 430-6600 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436- TIPS (8477) to remain anonymous and to be eligible for a possible reward.