Deputies Cleared In Shooting Of CUBandit

Register now

BARTOW, Fla. - (02/21/05) -- The Florida attorney general'soffice said Friday that deputies were justified in shooting asuspect in the Jan. 24 armed robbery at Florida Teachers FCU, thetown's first bank robbery in over 135 years. Wesley Caruthers, 38,was shot later that night as he held a women hostage at a nearbymotel. Authorities suspected Caruthers, who was on probation fromjail for robbing banks in Florida, Texas, Louisiana andMississippi, in the credit union hold-up. After reviewing theshooting, the attorney general's office determined deputies werejustified in using force under Florida statutes because they hadreason to think Caruthers was a dangerous felon, and they wereattempting to arrest him. Caruthers refused to leave his hotel roomor let his female hostage go, they noted. Though Caruthers wasunarmed at the time, deputies had reason to believe he could bearmed, especially because during that afternoon's robbery heimplied he had a gun.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.