According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 23-year-old David Eric Hampton in connection with a Bowie knife armed robbery of the BP station, 8675 Placida Rd., in Cape Haze early Sunday at 3:30 a.m.
Deputies were dispatched after a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt pulled a 12-inch Bowie knife on the clerk, demanded money, then fled. However, a customer outside saw the robbery, got back in his car, called 9-1-1, and followed the white Mercury Cougar. The witness lost sight of the vehicle as it sped away; he then returned to the store.
Deputies, K-9 and a sheriff's helicopter responded and set up a perimeter after a black hooded sweatshirt and other clothing believed worn by the suspect were located behind a home on Cape Haze Drive.
A newspaper carrier approached the K-9 deputy during the search and said there was a white car stopped at Arlington Dr. and Amberjack Place, and a man with a beard told him he ran out of gas. Deputies located the vehicle and ran the tag which came back to the owner, Hampton.
Shortly before 9 a.m., a deputy saw a man fitting the description of the suspect behind a home on Amberjack Place. The suspect was ordered to stop, and was identified as Hampton.
Hampton was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and charged with Robbery with a Weapon, and Loitering and Prowling. He remains in the jail on no bond.