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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Suspect in robbery of Brandon woman, 86, has been arrested more than 40 times

BRANDON — One spring day in 2012, Marcus Wayne Hunt walked out the of Orient Road jail a free man after posting bail on a charge of fleeing from police and driving without a license

Sixteen minutes later and 1.4 miles away, he walked up to a 34-year-old man, struck him in the face and stole his bike. He was later sentenced to five years in prison, his third stint in Florida, and was released in March.

Now Hunt, who has been arrested more than 40 times in Florida, is in trouble again, accused of a familiar crime.

Hillsborough County deputies say Hunt, 28, followed an 86-year-old Brandon woman from Walmart to her home on Monday, then robbed her at gunpoint. He was arrested Tuesday morning and is being held without bail at the Hillsborough County jail on charges of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Hunt's criminal record in Florida began 19 years earlier, when he was arrested on a sexual assault charge at the age of 9, state records show. The disposition of that case was not available Tuesday.

Hunt was arrested more than two dozen times before he turned 18, racking up convictions for grand theft auto, burglary, resisting arrest, and escaping from police custody, records show. He served his first two prison stints between 2008 and 2011 for burglary, grand theft auto, cocaine possession, aggravated fleeing to elude law enforcement.

He was released in December 2011. The following April, he was arrested in Hillsborough County on charges of fleeing and attempting to elude police and not having a valid driver's license. He was released from the Orient Road Jail at 4:22 p.m. that day after posting $2,250 bail.

Minutes later, deputies said, he walked up to 34-year-old Ernest Blanton-Gladden near 78th Street and Gray Moss Lane in Palm River. He struck him in the face and stole his bike, worth $190.

"I've not heard of any turn-around time that quick," Hillsborough Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said at the time.

Hunter was arrested on a warrant three days later and sent back to prison for the robbery and fleeing charges. He served 53 months and got out in March.

On April 25, he was picked up on a charge of driving without a valid license and was released later that day after posting $2,000 bail, records show.

About 12:30 p.m., Hunt and at least one other suspect in a dark gray, late model Toyota Corolla followed the 86-year-old woman after she purchased groceries at a Walmart on 11110 Causeway Blvd.

The Corolla pulled into a nearby driveway and Hunt got out, pointed a gun at the woman and took her purse as she unloaded the groceries from her car, deputies said.

Hunt fled in the Toyota. The woman's purse was found in a trash can at a Tampa convenience store, deputies said.

Hunt was arrested just after midnight on Tuesday near 50th Street South at the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

Deputies were working Tuesday to identify and arrest at least one other suspect in the case, Carter said.

PREVIOUS STORY: After 16 minutes of freedom, man commits crime again

Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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