Albany police arrest robbery suspect following chase

Suspect chase results in West Town Elementary lockdown

ALBANY — Five people were taken in for questioning Monday afternoon in connection to an attempted robbery at a store on Westover Boulevard last week, one of whom had charges filed against him after a chase that resulted in a lockdown being placed at an Albany elementary school.

The five individuals, initially identified as suspects in the attempted robbery and aggravated assault that occurred at H&K Food Mart, 900 S. Westover Blvd., Wednesday, were taken in for questioning to the Albany Police Department Law Enforcement Center early Monday afternoon, said Phyllis Banks, spokeswoman for the APD.

Banks said one of the suspects ran through West Town Elementary School property, and shortly afterwards was taken into custody.

Troy Conley, chief of police for the Dougherty County School System Police Department, said Albany police notified school police they were conducting a chase in the area of the school. He said DCSS police officials were unable to initially confirm whether the suspect entered the school. While entry into the building was unlikely due to there being only one open entrance by the front office, a lockdown was placed as a precaution.

“The school was searched, and the suspects were not located in the school,” Conley said. “After we were notified, we responded to West Town and did a secondary search.”

Conley said the lockdown was lifted after 15-20 minutes.

Jerome Bernard Walker, 28, was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, false imprisonment and kidnapping. A tip received Monday morning led detectives and uniform officers to Windover Apartments located 2304 W. Gordon Ave. When they arrived and began searching for Walker, they learned he had jumped out of a second floor apartment window. Officers pursued him on foot, and Walker made his way to West Town where he ran through the building but was later taken into custody at Gordon Park, Banks said.

No additional charges were filed on Monday. The other persons taken into custody were witnesses and were released after being interviewed, Banks said.

H&K robbery victims Hasubhai Patel and Jyotiben Patel told APD officers immediately after the Wednesday incident that two unknown males with handguns entered the store around 6 p.m. and attempted to obtain money from the register. The robbery was interrupted by a third man, believed to be a lookout, officials say, and the suspects fled on foot. Arriving officers searched a nearby wooded area behind a mobile home park where two suspects were taken into custody, officials say, but released after questioning.

Banks said a clerk at the food mart received unspecified injuries.