for immediate release
December 19, 2001

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Quick work by a dog and Deputies of the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office has resulted in the arrest of a suspect, minutes after the holdup of a convenience store last night (Tuesday night). Charged with Armed Robbery and with resisting Without Violence is Michael Steven Tate, age 26 (7-20-75), of 2807 Bradford Place #4, Fort Walton Beach.

Deputies arrived at the "Mr. Happy Store," 824 North Beal Parkway at 9:06 Tuesday evening, less than two minutes after the clerk reported she had just been robbed. The robber had pointed a gun at the clerk, demanded the contents of the cash register, and fled on foot with an unknown amount of cash.

Within ten minutes, Deputy Andrew Wheatley spotted an individual on foot in the area who ran upon the approach of law enforcement. Less than 15 minutes after that, Deputy Johnny Eubanks reported "K-9 Beau" had tracked and apprehended the suspect on Hawkins Road, a few blocks from the scene of the robbery. Deputies searching the area found a realistic-appearing BB-gun pistol believed used in the robbery.

Tate was booked on the robbery charge after a brief stop at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center Emergency Department for treatment of a dog bite to the leg.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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