Drinking leads to crime spree

ENGLEWOOD — An alleged night of heavy drinking followed by an early-morning joyride turned into a crime spree for an Englewood man.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 33-year-old Ryan James ‘Ry Ry’ Gros of the 7300 block of Ellis Lane in Englewood Thursday evening after Gros allegedly stole a car at a party, hit a parked car, broke into the Grove City Fire Station, broke into a firetruck, stole a $4,000 two-way radio, and broke into a Jeep and stole the keys.

When he was arrested Thursday evening, Gros said he didn’t remember much about that morning, according to his arrest report.

Around 5 a.m. Thursday, Gros and Robin Palermo left a party at a home at in the 2700 block of 12th Street in Grove City in a 2002 silver Chrysler LHS belonging to Palermo’s mother. Palermo told investigators she forgot something in the house and went inside to retrieve it. While she was inside, Gros drove off in the vehicle, hitting a parked car in the process.

Witnesses told deputies Gros appeared to be highly intoxicated when he left the party. The stolen car was found abandoned and out of gas at 3 p.m. about three blocks from the Grove City Fire Station. Deputies located Gros at his home around 7 p.m. and took him to the District I substation for questioning.

Gros was cooperative during the investigation but said he was very drunk the night before and did not remember taking the car. He reportedly told deputies he remembered being at Junior’s Lounge and Bar with a few friends, then stopping at a residence on Shadow Lane, both in Englewood. Afterward, he said, he remembered going to the Grove City Fire Station, but did not remember how he got there or if he got the radio from inside the fire station or it was outside.

Some patrons at Junior’s Lounge Friday morning who saw Gros’s photo said he looked familiar. A manager working there Friday said he had never seen Gros before.

According to the CCSO, Gros is being charged with grand theft auto for taking the car, grand theft for taking the fire department radio, burglary of a structure for breaking into the fire station, petty theft for taking the keys to the Jeep, and two counts of burglary of a conveyance for breaking into the firetruck and the Jeep.

He is being held in the Charlotte County Jail on $18,000 bond.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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