Sarasota stand-off connected to bank robbery safely ends

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SARASOTA - A police standoff outside a Gulf Gate apartment ended safely Wednesday night after the suspect surrendered to police.

It all started Wednesday afternoon when detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene of a bank robbery at the Bank of America near Gulf Gate Drive and U.S. 41 around 2:30.

Authorities later surrounded an apartment in the 6300 block of Gateway Avenue, just off Stickney Point Road and less than a mile away from the bank robbery, where the man they say robbed the bank fled and locked himself inside.

The suspect emerged from the home around 8pm and turned himself in.

The suspect has been identified as 57-year-old John Samuel Gay.  According to the Sheriff's Office, Gay was scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Thursday for a robbery arrest in 2012 for which he was facing a five year prison sentence.

Witnesses say Gay had been talking about robbing for the past few days. Gay said he was going to prison anyway and wanted to  have one last blowout.

Gay has 22 prior felony arrests and 14 convictions, according to Wendy Rose with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.