Police arrest Gulfport man in armed robbery after cross-Coast car chase

pochs@sunherald.comJuly 2, 2014 

GULFPORT -- Authorities say the man who led them on a car chase through Gulfport on Tuesday evening was involved in an armed robbery Sunday evening.

Sgt. Damon McDaniel said Michael Dwayne Thornton Jr., 23, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of armed robbery in the robbery at the Gulf Pointe Apartments on Lindh Road. McDaniel said the victim was approached in the parking lot about 9:16 p.m. by an armed man riding in a gray Dodge Durango. He said Thornton brandished a handgun, took the man's wallet and cellphone, and left in the Durango.

McDaniel said Tuesday's pursuit started when a Pass Christian police officer came into contact with the Durango.

Harrison County Chief Deputy Landi Phillips said the Durango led authorities north on Menge Avenue and east on Interstate 10 before the occupants bailed out of the vehicle in the area of Royal Pine Drive, which is north of Dedeaux Road, and fled on foot.

McDaniel said Thornton, one of the passengers who fled, was apprehended, but no other passengers have been found.

Thornton was held at the Harrison County jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Diane Ladner.

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