Gramercy man charged with armed robbery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / June 24, 2000

LAPLACE – Detectives with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s office havearrested an 18-year-old Gramercy man in connection with two armed robberies that occurred in Reserve in May and June.

Gary Gant, 18, 235 Mulberry St., Gramercy, is charged with armed robberyof the Eight Ball Lounge on May 3 and the attempted armed robbery of Marie’s Texaco Station on June 9. He is also charged with attemptedfirst-degree murder in the Texaco station attempt.

In the Eight Ball Lounge robbery Gant allegedly walked into the River Road establishment with a gun and demanded that the owners hand over all the money from the cash register. He got away with an undetermined amountof money, fleeing down River Road in a Saturn car.

In the Texaco attempt the suspect allegedly entered the gas station located at the corner of Airline Highway and Central Avenue with a pistol and demanded that the cashier empty the cash register. The cashier triedto run away, but the suspect grabbed her and a struggle ensued. Gantallegedly pointed the gun at the cashier’s head and fired one shot.

“He was definitely trying to kill her,” said Capt. Mike Tregre of the St.John Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Fortunately, the woman lived, because the bullet ricocheted off her skull and lodged in the ceiling of the gas station. Gant fled the station withoutany money.

Tregre said the case was solved because of the public.

“Gant was a strong suspect from the beginning,” said Tregre, “but it was a lot of good public tips that led to the arrest.”St. John Parish authorities alerted the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office,and St. James deputies arrested Gant at his home in Gramercy.The authorities waited until Gant had been released from the hospital before arresting him. The night after the Texaco robbery attempt Gant gotinto a fight with a Reserve man over a girlfriend. During the fight Gantwas pistol-whipped on the head and taken to the hospital, where his head was stitched up.

According to Capt. C. J. Destor of the detective bureau, Gant has a recordof burglary and theft.

In 1998 Gant was arrested and charged with two counts of simple burglary in Convent. He was sentenced to five years, but the sentence wassuspended.

Then in 1999 he was arrested for theft in Greensburg and was given probation. He was arrested again in Convent in 1999 for disturbing thepeace.

At this time Gant is sitting in the St. John Parish jail under a $200,000bond. Destor said that bond is just for the Texaco attempted robbery.”When he goes before the judge for the other robbery, his bond will go up even higher,” said Destor.

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