Leonard William Willis, 44, of Jacksonville, Fla., is still in the custody of Lamar County law enforcement officials following a Wednesday robbery at the United Bank on Main Street in Barnesville. The incident occurred after a separate incident at the BB&T bank branch in Forsyth, a robbery Willis is also suspected of having committed. In addition, Willis is also a suspect in three previous bank robberies in Florida.
Following the United Bank robbery, Willis allegedly attempted to flee from authorities, leading to a high-speed chase through Lamar, Butts and Henry counties.
Officials say the chase at times reached speeds of approximately 100 mph.
The apprehension of Willis, which Lamar County Sheriff Larry Waller referred to as “an extremely good, cooperative effort,” was the culmination of the work of the Barnesville Police Department, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, the Butts County Sheriff’s Office, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Locust Grove Police Department.
Willis was finally apprehended in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75, in the area of the 218 mile marker.
According to Waller, authorities were able to deploy a spike strip in the roadway which flattened one of the tires on the suspect’s vehicle. At that time, it is alleged that Willis resisted officers attempting to place him under arrest, at which time the suspect was tasered by Henry County officers and taken into custody.
Willis remains in the Lamar County Detention Center, facing numerous charges including multiple traffic violations in addition to the Lamar County robbery.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now the lead investigative agency and more charges may be forthcoming.