BRADENTON -- Two men were arrested Wednesday after they fled a car following a routine traffic stop and allegedly abandoned three loaded firearms, which were later recovered by the Bradenton Police Department.
Gerrell Houston, 27, and Brenton Coleman Jr., 21, were arrested after a brief stand-off with police at a residence near the traffic stop in the 1400 block of 10th Avenue East, Bradenton, according a news release.
Coleman is the son, and Houston is the brother of Brenton Coleman Sr., the man slain Thursday at the 13 AV Dream Center in East Bradenton.
Officer Phillip Smolinsky attempted a routine traffic stop at 1:15 a.m. for speeding. Smolinsky reportedly had been following the vehicle after recognizing Houston and Coleman from a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office intelligence bulletin in connection with the 13 AV Dream Center shooting, according to a police report.
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When the traffic stop was attempted, the driver reportedly fled the scene, dropping a fully loaded 9 mm handgun in the backyard of a residence. Coleman and Houston reportedly exited the vehicle and fled to a nearby residence where they eventually surrendered.
“I’ll be right back, I have to talk to my grandma,” he allegedly told the police officer.
The officer then approached the vehicle and reportedly found two fully loaded AK-47 rifles, one on the backseat and the other protruding from under the driver’s seat.
Coleman was charged with trespassing in the vehicle, which had been stolen.
Houston is charged with two counts possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, trespassing and driving with a suspended license.
Police said the suspects denied the guns belonged to them.
“Officer Smolinsky’s actions this morning were remarkable in the sense that he was successful in removing two high-powered assault rifles and a semi-automatic handgun from the streets, along with preventing further violence in our community from occurring,” Bradenton Deputy Chief Warren Merriman stated in a news release.
Police have not confirmed any connection between the arrests and the fatal shooting Coleman's father at the Dream Center.
“We don’t have any active cases in the county right now,” Manatee County spokesman Dave Bristow said. “However, we are very familiar with the two of them.”
Coleman did not appear in court today but Manatee County Judge Doug Henderson ordered him to remain in jail and appear in court Thursday afternoon.
In an emergency motion to the court, the State Attorney’s Office asked Henderson to revoke Coleman’s bond on charges pending from June 7.
“I signed a warrant and revoked his supervised release,” Henderson said. “So I reinstated all the bonds, which add up to quite a bit.”
The bonds total $15,000 for grand theft of a firearm, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm during a felony, carrying a concealed weapon and removing the serial number from a firearm.
The order to revoke supervised release and issue an arrest warrant had been signed earlier Wednesday as a result of an affidavit from Supervised Release Officer Sal Rizzo.
The State Attorney’s Office, accompanied by detectives from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit, urged Henderson to also revoke the bonds, which he did.
It is unclear if Houston will make his first appearance in court Thursday as well.
Funeral services for the elder Coleman are scheduled for later in the week.