Final suspect arrested in Hibiscus Inn armed robbery

Raheem E. Maxwell

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the final suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at the Hibiscus Inn on Stickney Point Road on July 13, the office has announced.

Detectives determined that Raheem “Bubba” Maxwell, 21, of 2309 Leon Ave., Sarasota, was the man who fled from deputies when they located the red Ford Mustang convertible allegedly used in the crime, a Sheriff’s Office news release says. Deputies earlier had arrested Lea Canty, 18, and Chastity Edwards, 19, but neither suspect would name their male accomplice, a Sheriff’s Office report says.

A check of the women’s Facebook accounts led detectives to Maxwell, who subsequently was identified by the victim, the report adds.

Maxwell, who has an extensive violent criminal history, according to the Sheriff’s Office, was charged Aug. 1 with robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. According to the report, he was placed under $5,000 bond on those charges.

He was arrested at the Sarasota County Jail, where he already was being held on multiple charges filed against him July 30 by the Sarasota Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office news release says.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, John Eilermann, 24, contacted the Sheriff’s Office on July 13 to report that he had been the victim of an armed robbery, during which his wallet was taken.

Eilermann said the wallet contained about $2,000, the report adds.

Earlier that evening, he told deputies he and a friend, Timothy Esarey, 22, had met Canty and Edwards and arranged to get together with them later. About 11 p.m., the women showed up at the Hibiscus Inn, located at 1735 Stickney Point Road, were Eilermann was staying, according to the report.

After a short time, the report says, Canty and Edwards told the men they were going to a store to buy some cigarettes; Eilermann said he gave them a $50 bill to get cigarettes for him as well.

When Eilermann and Esarey walked outside the inn to await the women’s return, the report says, a red Ford Mustang pulled into the parking lot and a black male climbed out, carrying a small revolver. The man demanded Eilermann’s money, reached into Eilermann’s back pocket and took his wallet, the report says.

The man then returned to the vehicle and fled.

A short time later, the report says, the Mustang was observed heading eastbound on the north Siesta Key bridge. The vehicle pulled into a residential driveway on Grove Street, where a Sarasota Police Department officer, Lt. M. Pezzella, talked with the vehicle’s occupants — Canty and Edwards, the report says. Canty was in the driver’s seat, the report says, while Edwards was in the back seat.

A woman living at the residence where the car was stopped told Pezzella she had seen a black male flee the vehicle and run through her backyard, the report says.

Officers then brought Eilermann to the residence, where he identified the Mustang as the one driven by the man who had robbed him, the report says. Eilermann also identified the two women, the report adds.