Additional criminal charges have been filed against two Atmore men, including a former standout athlete at Escambia County High School, who were arrested earlier today (Wednesday, June 28) in connection with a series of recent auto burglaries in the Nokomis area.
Eric John Williams, 19, of a Church Street address, and Bryson Williams, 18, who lives on Martin Luther King Drive, were taken into custody by officers of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Atmore and Poarch police departments and canine tracking teams from two area correctional facilities.
According to an employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division, each suspect is being held without bond on three counts of burglary of a vehicle and one count each of second-degree theft of property and attempted burglary of a vehicle. Additional charges of attempting to elude police and disorderly conduct are reportedly pending against at least one of the two.
The pair was nabbed “around daylight,” just south of Nokomis Baptist Church, after a high-speed car chase and separate foot chases. The car chase ended when the duo unsuccessfully tried to skirt a road block. Tracking dogs eventually helped bring the foot chases to a halt.
Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said he hoped the arrests would also solve break-ins that have occurred recently in the Canoe and Robinsonville areas. He added that the arrests have apparently allowed Baldwin County authorities to file similar charges against the two.
Eric Williams was already being sought by ECSO on warrants charging him with one count each of burglary and criminal mischief, along with three counts of second-degree theft of property. He reportedly earned college scholarship offers as a basketball player at ECHS before his arrest “about two years ago,” for breaking into a car on the school campus, an ECSO spokesman said.
The car chase began around 3:30 a.m. today when Atmore police spotted the wanted man and two other males at a North Main Street convenience store.
The duo now in custody fled in a 2012 Chevy Impala, while the third male, who is being sought as a possible accomplice, remained at the store and quietly slipped away when the police presence was concentrated on the mobile suspects.
An ECSO canine officer quickly sniffed out Bryson Williams, while Eric Williams continued his futile escape effort until dogs from Fountain Correctional Institution and from a Cantonment, Fla. prison camp were brought in to help.
Around daylight, a citizen spotted the fleeing suspect running across his yard and called 911. The incident ended minutes later when Eric Williams was found in a wooded area, lying down by a fence, and taken into custody without further incident.