CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) — A robbery suspect, deemed “armed and dangerous” by officials, is now in custody.
Brandon Burgess, 28 of Lyons, was apprehended around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning in Seneca County. Officials say he was found in a vehicle with another person. At that point, Burgess took off running but was taken into custody after a short foot chase.
One man says he saw the whole thing.
“I was under my deck and I could hear somebody hollering get down so I started walking to the front of the house and the fugitive ran right out in front of me basically probably 20 feet away. He looked at me and I looked at him and I think he was probably as surprised as I was,” said Ken Cook.
Burgess was wanted in connection to an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in the Town of Phelps Tuesday. Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson says Burgess was in possession of an “assault weapon” but court documents say he used an Airsoft gun when committing the robbery.
Burgess was identified by authorities in videos on YouTube where he was seen making threatening comments. Officials say the videos he posted made him a danger to himself and the community.
Wendy Jermyn is Burgess’ cousin. She says she’s noticed a change in him lately.
“I know he has been in some trouble before but nothing major. He paid for what he did before and we all thought he was getting his life straightened out and with his dad passing a few months ago it just seemed to take a downward spiral from there,” said Jermyn.
The manhunt spurred Lyons Central School District to close its schools Wednesday as a precautionary measure.
“I didn’t want the children and students walking home while we were doing these search operations,” said Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts on the decision to close schools in Lyons.
Officials say they do not believe any specific student or school location was targeted by Burgess.
There was another person in the vehicle when Burgess was apprehended and they were taken into custody as well. That person has not yet been identified.
Burgess was arraigned in Ontario County Court Tuesday evening on charges of second-degree robbery and third-degree grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty through a public defender.
During the hearing, whenever the public defender would speak on his behalf, Burgess would say “I can talk for myself, I’m a social media star.” On the way out of court, he told his family to keep watching his YouTube channel saying, “this is just the beginning.”
A preliminary hearing has been set for Burgess on Monday in Phelps Town Court. Until then, he is being held on $75,000 cash bail, $150,000 bond. Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts will present the case to a grand jury on September 26. Ritts says additional charges are pending as officials are still in the preliminary portion of their investigation.
News 8 has learned Burgess has prior felony convictions that include DWI. He has two children in Wayne County and is self-employed.