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WATCH | Pine Bluff man arrested for alleged robbery at local bank

by Lance Brownfield | May 9, 2023 at 4:04 a.m.
Hot Springs police take a Pine Bluff man into custody Friday near the corner of Orange Street and Quapaw Avenue after he allegedly robbed the Bank OZK, 333 Ouachita Ave. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record.

A Pine Bluff man was arrested following an alleged robbery at a local bank after he was reportedly followed from the scene by a witness who then flagged down Hot Springs police and pointed him out.

Daryl Ladarius Dotson Jr., 23, was taken into custody shortly before 4:30 p.m. and charged with felony counts of robbery, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and theft of property over $1,000, punishable by up to six years.

Dotson remained in custody on a $200,000 bond and also had a hold on him out of Little Rock and was set to appear Monday in Garland County District Court.

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"He might've even got away," Ray Dezafra, who reportedly called 911 and followed Dotson from the scene at Bank OZK, 333 Ouachita Ave., told The Sentinel-Record shortly after Dotson's arrest.

"The least I can do is keep an eye on where he goes so at least he gets caught," Dezafra, who said he used to work in law enforcement, said, noting Dotson ran down an alleyway and then seemed lost and panicked in his getaway.

"He didn't plan it out too good," he said.

According to the probable cause affidavit, at approximately 4:15 p.m. Friday, police officers responded to the bank regarding a bank robbery that had just occurred and dispatchers advised there was a Black male wearing a blue backpack on Orange Street believed to be the suspect.

Officers converged in the area of Orange and Quapaw Avenue and saw a white male on the corner on his phone who started yelling, "He's over there! He's over there!" at the officers.

Officers then located another man, later identified as Dotson, who the witness was pointing to, wearing blue jogging pants, a black hoodie and a blue backpack and detained him while other officers gathered information at the bank.

Dotson could be heard saying, "I'm gonna sue you," while being searched by police and then, "You can't do this!"

The witness, identified as Dezafra, told officers he was inside the bank when he heard a female clerk scream and saw the man later identified as Dotson run from the front counter of the bank, fall and then run out the front doors toward Colorado Grill, 320 Ouachita.

Dezafra followed the man and saw him run into an alley where he lost sight of him briefly. He spotted him again a short time later in the area of Orange and Quapaw and noted he was wearing different clothing, but still had the same backpack.

He saw police approaching moments later and flagged them down, pointing at Dotson, the affidavit states.

A female witness, who was in the bank at the time of the robbery, told police she saw a heavyset Black male, whom she has seen many times, standing at the counter in front of her. She said she saw the man lean over, grab a handful of money, and then run out of the building.

The female witness was later driven by the location where Dotson was being detained and allegedly identified him as the man she saw take money from the bank.

Another male witness in the bank said he was at the counter when he saw a Black male approach the female teller next to him. He said the man handed him a note and pointed to a handwritten note on the counter. Then he saw the man lean over the counter, grab an undisclosed amount of money, and flee the bank.

HSPD Detective Mark Fallis located the handwritten note which reportedly started off stating, "Please don't give me a hard time or I will kill." The note then went on to say "he needed money for a hotel room."

In searching the blue backpack Dotson was carrying, officers allegedly found the exact amount of money in the exact denominations determined by bank personnel to have been taken from the bank. They also found clothing that matched the description of the clothing worn by the robber in the bank.

  photo  A Hot Springs police unit is parked outside Bank OZK, 333 Ouachita Ave., shortly after a reported robbery at the bank Friday afternoon. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record.
  photo  Daryl Ladarius Dotson Jr. - Submitted photo

Print Headline: WATCH | Pine Bluff man arrested for alleged robbery at local bank


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