Suspect in violent Lehigh armed robbery follows couple into home
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Police are searching for a suspect who pistol whipped a father and son and caused a pregnant woman to start having contractions during a violent robbery Thursday night.
The attack began when an unknown black male approached Fred Fowlkes and his wife, Mary Fowlkes, from behind as they walked to their apartment at Vista Palms, located at 10427 Stafford Creek Blvd., Crime Stoppers said.
The suspect had a black semi automatic pistol and demanded cash and their cellphones, according to Crime Stoppers. Fred Fowlkes handed over the $2 in cash he had, but the suspect insisted it wasn’t enough and repeatedly asked “Do you wanna die?” as he pointed the muzzle of the gun at his head, Crime Stoppers said.
The suspect then grabbed Mary Fowlkes by the arm and forced the couple into the apartment, where Fred Fowkles’ parents were present, as Crime Stoppers detailed in a news release. Fred Fowlkes and his 67-year-old father, Charles Fowlkes, began to fight the suspect while Mary Fowlkes and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter hid in a bedroom.
“I know at one point we ended up down on the ground, where we were both grappling for the gun,” Fred Fowlkes told WINK News.
Fowlkes said his mother hit the suspect with her cane while the suspect pistol whipped Fowlkes and his father. The suspect ultimately took the cane and fled from the apartment, according to Crime Stoppers.
Fred and Charles Fowlkes were taken to a hospital where they received stitches. The contractions eventually stopped for Mary Fowlkes, who’s two weeks shy of her due date.
Crime Stoppers described the suspect as a black male, approximately 6-feet tall and between 175 and 200 pounds in his late 20s or early 30s with a beard. He wore a camouflage jacket, black cargo pants and a handkerchief on his face.
Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.