Employee Lisa Green’s mother, Suzi Carr, had just come into the store to bring her daughter a pizza when the suspect entered.
“I was only here a couple of minutes when he came into the store,” Carr said. “He came up to the counter and bought a six-pack of beer and a bottle of whiskey. ... He paid for what he bought. We were talking, chit chatting."
Carr said she was sitting down when she heard her daughter say, “Are you kidding me?” Carr said she got up to see what was happening.
“He pointed the gun at me and said, ‘Sit down,’” Carr said.
Green said she handed the man the money and then sat down at the man’s order. When he went outside, they called 911, and Carr rushed to the door and yelled out the license plate number as the suspect sped away.
Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Officer Sean Turbett said another officer in the area, Adam VanDis, spotted the vehicle about a half-mile up West Spring Lake Road and tried to pull the driver over. But the driver, a man who appeared to be in his early to mid 30s, according to Turbett, sped off — leading police on a chase around Ferrysburg, before heading to the north.
The suspect was on Hickory Street, going into the intersection of Iroquois and Palm, when he failed to make the curve, went off the road and hit a utility pole, bringing down wires across the road, before plowing to a stop in the swamp.
Turbett said the man ran into the woods in North Holiday Hills and was apprehended about 200-300 yards away by an officer from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.
The man was returned to the scene of the crash, where police read him his rights. He was then taken by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital.
Spring Lake Township firefighters remained on the scene for a couple of hours until the utility lines were removed from the road.
Green and a couple of customers inside the store at the time were not injured.
Green and Carr said they were both shaken by the incident, but unhurt.
“I’m just glad my mom was here,” Green said.
The store remained closed for the rest of the evening.
Also responding to the scene were the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department and Norton Shores Police.
Turbett said at the scene that he was not able to provide identification of the suspect at that time. He also said he couldn’t say for sure that this was the person who robbed the store.
“We just know that we caught somebody at this point — fleeing from the general area of a reported armed robbery,” Turbett said.