BRADENTON -- If what authorities say is true, 28-year-old Raymond R. Washburn of Bradenton ran into the wrong person when he raced from a house in the 500 block of 65th Avenue Drive West at 8:43 p.m. Thursday with a pillow case filled with items.
According to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office report, a "witness" ran after Washburn following the alleged burglary of the house, and the same witness came up behind Washburn, relieved him of a weapon, tackled him to the ground and held him there until the arrival of responding deputies.
On Friday, the father of former Marine Cpl. Dustin M. Ellis of Bradenton, who served in the Afghanistan war zone, said that it was his son who tackled and subdued Washburn.
"Dustin and I were looking at my daughter's new Jeep Liberty in the 500 block of 65th Avenue Drive West a little after 6 p.m. Thursday when a neighbor came home, saw her windows had been busted out and her house ransacked, saw someone run out the back door and started screaming, 'Stop him, stop him, he just robbed me,' " said Smokey Daniels, Ellis' father.
The police report confirms Daniels' account of the incident, including the address and time.
"The man had a pillow case in his hand," said Daniels, who jumped in his pickup truck to try to find the suspect. "Dustin just took out after him like a bolt of lightning. He's short but fast. The man jumped over a picket fence, but Dustin literally put his shoulder down and bullied right through it. Dustin caught up to him in the 900 block of 66th Avenue West."
The police report states that the witness came up behind Washburn as Washburn was swinging a screwdriver at the victim, who had also pursued him.
"Dustin grabbed the suspect by the hoodie, grabbed the screwdriver from his hand, put him on the ground and held him until the law arrived," Daniels said.
"Dustin is in better shape than most," Daniels added of his son, who graduated from Bayshore High School in 2006. "He recently graduated from fire fighting school and is hoping to be a firefighter in Trailer Estates."
Dustin Ellis couldn't be reached for comment Friday night.
Daniels said deputies shook both their hands after they arrived and took Washburn into custody.
Washburn was charged with aggravated assault, burglary to an unoccupied home and intent to use burglary tools and was being held in the Manatee County jail Friday subject to a $14,000 bond, according to the sheriff's office website.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@ RichardDymond.