An Avondale man accused of targeting an ATM worker at an Elmwood bank and then attempting to rob him at a Burger King drive-through window in Boutte was arrested Thursday.
Damon Bryant was arrested and is awaiting charges of attempted first-degree murder and attempted robbery in St. Charles Parish. Bryant also has been linked to three armed robberies in Jefferson Parish.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said detectives arrested the man in Westwego last night (Aug. 3) with assistance from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Bryant is being held at Jefferson Parish’s correctional facility on additional charges.
He is accused of shooting a man on Wednesday morning at a Burger King drive-through window in Boutte while attempting to rob him of cash. The man, unidentified, had cash on him to replenish ATMs. He was described by the Sheriff’s Office as being in his 30s.
Champagne said Bryant observed the victim get cash at a Capital One bank in Elmwood and then followed him to St. Charles Parish intending to rob him.
“He apparently noticed the victim received a fairly large amount of cash, several thousand dollars,” Champagne said. “He apparently caught his attention. The victim left in his vehicle with Mr. Bryant following close behind.”
The victim first stopped at a Racetrac in Boutte, but their electronic system to accept payment was down and the store could only accept cash. The victim did not have personal cash, so he left to go elsewhere. The victim told detectives he recalled Bryant approaching him at the Racetrac before he left.
“That apparently skewed (Bryant’s) plan,” Champagne said.
That spurred the victim to travel across the street to Burger King, where Bryant followed. The victim paid for and accepted his food, then stopped to check his order before leaving. That’s when Bryant approached his vehicle and attempted to stop him.
“He got in front of his car and told him to stop,” Champagne said. “The victim attempted to drive away and swerved … the perpetrator fired his shot. The victim had his arm up in defensive posture.”
Champagne said the bullet struck the victim above the elbow and traveled some distance above his arm.
“We’re aware he had some tendon and nerve damage,” Champagne said. “He is in the hospital having surgery. We understand it is not life-threatening.”
Champagne said the situation could have been far worse.
“By the grace of God and maybe a couple inches of aim, we could have had a deceased victim laying in the parking lot of Burger King on Wednesday morning,” Champagne said. “The perpetrator was obviously willing to go to great lengths.”
Champagne said Bryant’s fiance was in the car with him during the incident. The car, a Toyota Corolla, is owned by the fiance, who the Sheriff’s Office declined to identify.
Before approaching the victim at Burger King, Bryant allegedly parked his vehicle in the parking lot of a nearby IHOP and walked to the Burger King drive-thru on foot, cutting through the yard of the St. Charles Parish schools’ Pupil Appraisal Center.
Champagne credited video surveillance taken in the area, from multiple sources, with helping detectives piece together the facts from the incident.
Following the shooting, the victim drove himself to the nearby LaQuinta Inn hotel, where employees alerted the Sheriff’s Office of the situation.
Bryant is 19 years old and a resident of 216 Chapel Lane in Avondale.