Police: Attempted robbery leads to hostage situation at Eustis financial advisors office

EUSTIS, Fla. — An armed robbery attempt that prompted a hostage situation in Eustis Friday afternoon has ended with the suspect in custody.


Police say 36-year-old Jacob Parrish walked into the Wells Fargo Financial Advisors building on Bay St. just after 3 p.m. armed with a knife and told an employee he was there to commit a robbery.

The employee immediately ran and alerted the other two workers in the building and all three barricaded themselves in an office.

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Once barricaded, police say Parrish refused to let the three employees leave, but they were able to call for help and provide a picture of him for law enforcement.

Eustis police quickly responded along with deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Eustis Police Department Patrol Captain Jon Fahning, once they learned where the employees were located, they made the decision to get them out as quickly as possible, even though they didn’t know exactly where Parrish was or whether he was still armed.

Officers were able to find a key to the office and freed the hostages while looking for Parrish.

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“Our plan was to pull the hostages out as quickly as we could,” Fahning explained. “But we encountered the individual once we got inside, so we were able to do both things simultaneously…get the hostages out and apprehend the suspect.”

Fahning says Parrish may have been under the impression the establishment stores money, when it does not. The business even has signage on the exterior stating the fact that they don’t store cash there.

Police say Parrish was known to local law enforcement with a prior criminal history, but nothing like what they saw Friday.

“To do something to this level is obviously very surprising based on what minimal contact we have had with him,” Capt. Fahning said. “There’s nothing in his criminal history to indicate that he’d be the type of person to go in and try to rob what he believed was a bank.”

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Parrish was charged with armed robbery with a knife, a first-degree felony, and three counts of false imprisonment, a third-degree felony. He’s being held in the Lake County jail on $35,000 bond.

None of the employees were injured. The investigation is ongoing.

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