Court Cases I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Verdict Reached for Two Men Accused in Break-in Turned Hostage Situation

By: Eyewitness News, Jerry Askin; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News, Jerry Askin; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATE March 2, 2012

Tallahassee, FL -- A jury deliberated for nearly four hours before reaching a verdict in the trial of two men accused in a break in turned hostage standoff.

The jury found Briante Milton and Tydarius Newell guilty of kidnapping, burglary with a person assaulted and more.

Attorneys will meet next week to set a sentencing date.

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UPDATE March 1, 2012

Tallahassee, FL -- Two Tallahassee men are now on trial for what prosecutors say was a break-in turned hostage taking.

Briante Milton and Tydarius Newell are accused of burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping and more for a standoff at the Glen Oaks apartments last January. 2011

Police responding to a 911 call say they discovered Milton and Newell were still inside the apartment and had taken the victims hostage.

The TAC Team evacuated everyone in the building and the men ultimately surrendered.

Testimony in the trial will continue tomorrow.

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UPDATE 01-25-2011 9:45am

TPD Statement:

On 1/24/11 at around 4:00 am the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 2074 Midyette Rd. . The call was in reference to Victim 1 calling. Victim 1 called to report that her boyfriend, Victim 2, had just left their apartment. Someone was now forcing him to re-enter the apartment with her. Victim 1 then disconnected her phone call. Upon officers arriving, they contacted Victim 1 at a window. She indicated she was ok, and that the only other person in the apartment was Victim 2. She then made some type of motion with her fingers that indicated to the officer speaking with her that there were two other subjects in the apartment. Victim 1 however would not exit the apartment. Officers then noticed an unknown subject looking out of another window. The subject appeared to be wearing some type of “ski” mask.

Apartment # is in an apartment within building 300. The apartment shares a common attic space with other apartments in the building. Due to the unknown situation in apartment #, and its close proximity to various other apartments, the apartment building was evacuated by police officers. Apartment #324 was evacuated, and later secured again by Sgt. Fairfield. Sgt. Fairfield looked in all rooms in the apartment except one bedroom that was locked. The residents were not in the apartment. After the building was evacuated, officers did not let any civilians return to the building. Apartment # and # share a common wall.

For several hours after responding officers’ arrival, Victim 1 spoke periodically with police officers via cell phone. She told officers that she had been in an argument with Victim 2, and that they needed to back away. Eventually, Victim 1 and Victim 2 exited the apartment via a window next to the front door at around 7:00 am. A short time later, a black male subject wearing black clothing (later identified as Newell) exited apartment #324. Following Newell was a subject wearing a grey sweatshirt, later identified as Milton. Newell was immediately detained by members of the Tallahassee Police Department TAC team, while Milton retreated back into apartment #324. TAC team members eventually broke a window to order Milton out of the apartment. Milton then complied, and was detained. Milton and Newell were then transported to the Tallahassee Police Department’s CID. Victim 1 and Victim 2 were transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) ER.

TAC officers searched apartment # and #. It was discovered that furniture had been placed in front of the door to apartment #, apparently as a barricade. A “soapy” substance was also spread on the floor in front of the door, possibly to cause officers entering the apartment to slip and fall. Officers discovered a hole in the sheetrock in a bedroom, allowing access to the attic space. Officers entered the attic and discovered another hole in some sheetrock in another part of the attic area. The hole led to a closet in apartment #324. Upon searching apartment #324, for possible other suspects, officers noticed a clear plastic trash bag in the kitchen. Plainly visible through the plastic was what appeared to be clothing, and Victim 2’s photo identification. There was also a strong smell of cannabis. It was discovered that Milton had approximately $1795.00 in cash on his person at the time he was detained. Newell was found to have $930 on his person during arrest. During the initial search of apartment #324, at least an ounce of suspected cannabis was located in the dishwasher. A pair of black gloves was located on the couch in the living room of #324. A subsequent search of the entire apartment (324) resulted in the discovery of a black Beretta 9mm semi auto handgun hidden in one of the toilet tanks.

Inv. Isom and I were then contacted, and asked to respond to the scene. Upon arrival, we were provided with the above information. We then went to TMH-ER and spoke with Victim 2 and Victim 1. Victim 2 reported the following: He left for work and was walking down a breezeway to get to his car. As he walked, two masked subjects approached him. One of the suspects was heavier, shorter than the other, and was wearing black clothing. The other subject was skinnier, taller, and was wearing a grey sweatshirt. The shorter subject had a black gun, while the taller suspect had a silver gun. They then ordered him back to his apartment, #. When he arrived at the front door, he called for Victim 1. Victim 1 opened the door, then ran to a back bedroom. The two suspects then demanded money and “weed”, and forced Victim 2 back to the bedroom to find Victim 1. At some point he was able to enter the bedroom with Victim 1 and shut the door. The suspects then forced the door open. Once the door was open, Victim 2 attempted to overpower the taller suspect. During the scuffle, the suspect hit him in the head with a gun. As a result, Victim 2 received an injury to his head that required 7 staples to close and a second requiring 3 staples. Victim 2 and Victim 1 were then taken into the living room. Victim 2 then gave the suspects $1300.00 to $1800.00 that he had been saving for a vacation. Victim 2 also gave the suspect one ounce of cannabis “weed”. At some point someone (later determined to be police officers) knocked on the apartment’s front door. Victim 2 and Victim 1 did not answer. Eventually Victim 1 communicated with police via Victim 2’s cell phone. During the approximately three hours Victim 2 and Victim 1 were held in the apartment, they were tied up with phone or Ethernet cable. They were also moved from the living room to the kitchen, and covered with blankets. Eventually, they no longer heard the suspects. Victim 2 and Victim 1 then exited the apartment.

A few minutes later, Victim 2 saw one of the subjects that had been detained by the TAC team. Victim 2 recognized the subject as the shorter suspect (Newell), and also as a former co-worker. Victim 2 knew Newell as T.D. Victim 2 advised that he, Newell, and “Devon” worked at UPS together. About three weeks ago, Newell and “Devon” were fired. Around the same time, Victim 2 and Devon smoked Cannabis together at Victim 2’s and Victim 1’s previous apartment located on Horne Ave. in Tallahassee. Shortly after Devon had been at the Horne Ave. address, Victim 1 was the victim of another crime in reference to Burglary with person assaulted case 11-926 on 1/10/11. Victim 2 then provided a better description of the taller subject. The subject was wearing a grey sweatshirt and black Nike shoes with white accents and “pump” like soles. He was armed with a silver handgun.

Inv. Isom and I then spoke with Victim 1. Victim 1 provided a similar version of the incident as had Victim 2. She confirmed that at least one subject had a black handgun, she had been tied up and moved between rooms, and the suspect had demanded cash and “weed”. Victim 1 added that at some point she had been able to push a screen out of a bedroom window and drop her keys to an officer. She had also attempted to signal that there were two armed subjects in her apartment. Victim 1 added that during at least one conversation with police, she was told by the suspects to say she had been arguing with Victim 2 about him seeing another woman. She was also told that she could leave to have the police “back up”. If she couldn’t get the police to back up they would “kill her man”. She eventually heard “banging” in the bathroom, while she was tied up in the kitchen. After not hearing the suspects for a short time, she was able to slip out of her bindings and exit the apartment.

Victim 1 described the taller subject, Milton, as wearing a dark sweatshirt and black gloves. She also was certain that the taller subject’s voice was identical to one of the suspects from the previous case 11-926 at 2347 Horne Ave. Victim 1 described the second subject as wearing black clothing, and armed with a black gun.

After speaking with Victim 2 and Victim 1, Inv. Isom and I went to the police department CID to interview Milton and Newell:
Milton waived Miranda and provided the following information to Inv. Isom and Sgt. Suleski. Milton claimed he went to the incident location with Newell to purchase cannabis. He further stated Newell and Victim 2 worked together at UPS shipping and Victim 2 was known to have quality cannabis. When questioned about the robbery Milton initially minimized his culpability and denied ever possessing a handgun. He did admit to striking Victim 2, but claimed it was with a short piece of metal pipe he brought to the scene. He also claimed he was in the bathroom when Newell was able to tie up both victims single-handedly. Milton eventually admitted to taking over an ounce of marijuana and a large quantity of cash from the victims of apartment # . He also confessed to using a handgun instead of a pipe to strike Victim 2 about the head. Milton confessed to committing the earlier occupied burglary with Newell at the victim’s previous address (11-926). This was also with the intent to steal cannabis and currency. He stated he and Newell took property instead, to include a flat screen TV, a laptop computer, a Wii game system and an ounce of cannabis.

Newell waived Miranda and stated the following to Inv. Isom and Sgt. Suleski: Milton stayed at his home the night prior to this incident. They decided to commit this crime after the first failed attempt earlier this month (11-926). Newell had followed Victim 2 home from work prior to this date and discovered his new address. He believed Victim 2 kept the cannabis in the trunk of his car and intended to intercept him as he left for work. Victim 2 was accosted by Newell and Milton just outside his apartment door (#). During the brief struggle Milton dropped the handgun, which made a loud noise. They took Victim 2 back inside his apartment because of the noise. They demanded the cash and drugs. Newell states he searched the living room area with negative results. While he was searching a struggle ensued in the bedroom where Milton was holding the two victims. At some point the victims locked themselves inside their bedroom. Newell forced the door open and subdued Victim 2. Newell admits to tying up both victims with electronic component cords. He states he did this when told to do so by Milton. The victims were covered with a blanket while lying on the floor. Newell and Milton broke through the ceiling in the victim’s bedroom and proceeded through the attic to the adjacent apartment, # 324. Once inside the other apartment Milton gave Newell an unknown amount of cash. This was the $930 found on his person at the time of arrest. Newell surrendered to police outside apartment # 324. He last saw the handgun in Milton’s possession in # 324. Newell admits to “borrowing” the handgun from a friend. When the handgun was recovered it was found with the serial numbers defaced. Newell confessed to committing these crimes with the intent to steal cannabis and cash from Victim 2 and in flight thereafter.

It should be noted that Milton was adjudicated guilty of resisting an officer with violence on 8/20/09, adjudicated guilty of carrying a concealed firearm on 1/12/09, and also adjudicated guilty of various other felonies involving drugs.

In summary Newell and Milton provided the following information to Inv. Isom and Sgt. Suleski: During the above incident, Milton admitted to striking the male victim with the firearm while outside the apartment and punching him several times inside the apartment. Milton admitted to taking US Currency and cannabis from the victim, climbing through the attic and entering the adjacent apartment without permission. Once inside the apartment, Milton admitted to hiding cannabis and refusing to exit the apartment, while acknowledging the police were outside giving him verbal commands to exit. Milton also admitted that his co-defendant, Newell, punched the male victim, tied both victims with cords and held them against their will.

Newell admitted to providing Milton with the firearm, grabbing the male victim as he exited his apartment and forcing him back inside. Once inside, Newell admitted to striking the male victim, tying up both victims and taking personnel property belonging to them. Newell also admitted to climbing through the attic and illegally entering the adjacent apartment, where the firearm and cannabis were discovered.

In summary, both defendants admitted to planning the robbery, possessing the firearm, holding the victims against their will, forcibly taking the victim’s property, illegally entering the adjacent apartment, refusing to obey the officers’ verbal commands, doing bodily harm to the male victim, while placing both victims in fear.

In addition, Newell confessed to committing the earlier occupied burglary on Horne Drive with Milton.

Kidnap to facilitate a felony
Burglary of dwelling while armed
Burglary with assault/battery
Robbery w/Firearm
Agg. Battery
Agg. Assault
Weapons and resisting charges.

Pictures are attached.

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UPDATE 01-24-2011 5:00pm by Jerry Askin

It all started around 4 o'clock Monday morning at the Glen Oaks Apartments on Midyette Road.

Apartment resident Brandon Mickens says, "I saw a bunch of police officers, a paramedic, a firetruck and the swat team out here, and in that point in time, I really didn't know what to think."

Tallahassee police were originally responding to a 9-1-1 call about a burglary in progress at the 300 building of the Glen Oaks Apartments. But when they arrived, police say neither the suspect nor the victim would come out the apartment - making it what they call an active hostage situation. And that's when police called in the Tactical Apprehension Control (TAC) Team to take action.

Apartment resident Fran'Son August says, "I heard cops on the bullhorn telling the suspect to get out or surrender or what not."

Police soon evacuated everyone living in the building and told them to remain at the leasing office until the hostage situation was over. About four hours later, the suspects surrendered and were taken into custody. The victims were transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

Resident Cyndi Sarten says, "Usually it's very quiet, no loud music, it's a very quiet community."

Mickens say, "I just think it's truly shocking that it actually takes place. I mean you always hear about it, but you never hear it take place so close to your home."

The investigation is ongoing at this time. We still do not know whether this crime was drug-related or if the suspects had any connection to the victims.
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UPDATE 1-24 9:39 - TPD Release

At approximately 4am, the Tallahassee Police Department Responded to 2074 Midyette Rd, in reference to a burglary in progress of an occupied dwelling.

The incident evolved into a tactical response from the Tallahassee Police Department due to a hostage situation. The building where the incident occurred was evacuated.

The Tallahassee Police Departments TAC (Tactical Apprehension and Control) Team responded to the scene and shortly after 8AM, the suspects surrendered and were taken into custody. The victims had minor injuries, non life-threatening and were transported to the hospital to be treated.

The suspects are being transported to the Police Department to be interviewed by investigators at this time. The investigation is active and ongoing so details at this time are limited.

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UPDATE 1-24 8:30 AM

TPD continues to be on scene, but have now stated that this was a burglary-in-progress that turned into a hostage situation. That situation has been resolved as the suspects surrendered and have been taken into custody.

No names have been released and no word on how many suspects were involved. WCTV continues to have a crew on scene and will continue to bring you more information as it becomes available.

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Tallahassee, FL - The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating an active tactical situation in Tallahassee.

TPD says the event happened at around 4 am Monday morning (1-24), but they did not arrive on scene until around 5 am. Currently there are several police units at Glen Oaks Apartments at 2074 Midyette Road. The TPD Special Response Vehicle is, also, currently on scene. Traffic is not being affected at this time.

TPD has released few details about the incident at this time but WCTV does have a crew on scene. Our crew talked to an eye witness in the area who says it appeared to be a hostage situation. TPD did not confirm what that person told WCTV..

WCTV will have more information as it becomes available.


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