In January 2013, employees at Joe’s Tire and Auto in Portsmouth, Virginia, noticed that a man at the back of their lot was stealing inspection stickers from vehicles.
When employees confronted the man, who was identified by at least one witness as Jelly, he quickly got into a van and began driving toward the exit of the lot.
Camera footage from the scene shows what happened next: Employees closed the front gate when the van was still at the back of the lot. Just as the gate is fully closed, the van accelerates directly toward the front gate and the multiple employees standing nearby.
Crashed through the gate
The employees were able to get out of the way just as the van blew by them and then crashed through the front gate. Thousands of dollars in damage was caused to the gate, and what began as merely a suspicious man stealing inspection stickers turned into a more dangerous situation.
The dramatic turn of events showed that Jelly was willing to go to great lengths to avoid criminal prosecution and has no regard for the safety of those who stand in his way.
the Portsmouth Police Department investigated the incident, and multiple warrants were issued for the suspect, who was identified as Lenard Tyrone Davis, better known as Jelly.
Davis could not be found locally, and the Portsmouth police requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in April 2014. An investigation showed that Davis probably left the state.
Hiding in South Carolina
Numerous interviews were conducted and marshals learned that Jelly was staying somewhere in South Carolina with a family that has ties to Portsmouth. Deputy marshals narrowed the investigation to one specific family in Conway, South Carolina, 15 miles from Myrtle Beach.
On the morning of March 12, 2015, U.S. Marshals in South Carolina went to the address in Conway where Jelly was believed to be hiding. At the residence, marshals saw Jelly inside when the front door was opened. Seeing that he was surrounded and had nowhere to run, Jelly surrendered and was taken into custody without incident, bringing the two-year manhunt to a close.
Davis is being held in Conway awaiting extradition to Portsmouth. The charges against him include attempted malicious wounding and hit & run.