A 20-year-old felon and his juvenile accomplice were behind bars Saturday after St. Lucie County heriff's deputies said the pair forced their way into a Fort Pierce home at gunpoint Friday afternoon.
Denzel Donald Ellis, of the 600 block of Southwest Twig Avenue, Port St. Lucie, and a 16-year-old boy have been charged with home invasion robbery.
Victims told deputies the pair appeared at the open garage door of a home in the 3100 block of Avenue S around 1 p.m. Ellis allegedly pulled a pistol on three men and a woman and forced the pair's way into the home.
A female victim told investigators a heavy set man, later identified by victims as Ellis, demanded money. When the victim said she had none, Ellis allegedly pointed the pistol at her 7-month-old and 2-year-old and threatened to kill them.
Deputies were told the pair then forced one of the men back into the garage, where $90 and a cellphone were pulled from his pants pocket. Ellis then allegedly hit the man on the head with his pistol before the two fled on foot.
When the three male victims pursued the suspects south on 32nd Street, Ellis allegedly fired shots at them.
Fort Pierce Police Department officers apprehended Ellis and the 16-year-old a short time later in the 3200 block of Avenue Q. One officer reported seeing Ellis throw something into nearby bushes, where a K-9 later located a 9mm handgun.
The three male victims drove up to police at the scene and identified the two suspects as the men who robbed them.
According to the arrest report, officers also retrieved a cellphone near where the pair were apprehended. The victim who said his phone had been stolen at gunpoint told police his phone number and, when officers dialed it, the cellphone found as evidence rang.
In addition to home invasion robbery with a firearm, Ellis also was charged with three counts of committing an act that could cause death, for allegedly firing on the trio in pursuit.
In addition, he was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly hitting the man's head with the pistol; kidnapping to commit a felony; and possession of a handgun by a felon, after deputies looked on a Department of Corrections website and saw he had been released in May after serving two years on an armed robbery conviction.
Ellis' total bond was set at $340,500.
The 16-year-old was incarcerated at the St. Lucie County Juvenile Detention Center.
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, while customarily not naming juveniles accused of crimes, does name some juveniles depending on the seriousness of the crime, their age, aggravating circumstances and other factors.