Deputies: Attempted robbery at hotel leads to firefighter's arrest

Brian Bausch charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - An attempted armed robbery at a Clay County hotel was foiled by a deputy who held the suspect, a Nassau County firefighter, at gunpoint until backup could arrive, according to an arrest report.

The arrest report obtained by News4Jax shows Brian James Bausch was identified by multiple victims as the person who attempted a robbery at the Stay Suites hotel on Wells Road, just east of the Orange Park Mall. He faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

The arrest report lists Bausch's employer as Nassau County Fire-Rescue. A chief with Fire-Rescue told News4Jax Bausch is a firefighter and paramedic and has been employed with the agency for just over two years. The chief said the agency was notified Friday morning of Basuch's arrest and he has been placed on paid administrative leave. 

Although much of the narrative in the report was redacted, it states that shortly after 9:30 p.m. Thursday, a patrol deputy was dispatched to the hotel in reference to an attempted robbery. Just as the deputy arrived on the scene, he said he heard over the radio that another deputy was holding Bausch at gunpoint in front of Room 229. The deputy wrote in the report that Bausch’s hands were in the air, but he had a handgun that was visible in his front pants pocket. 

The gun was removed and Bausch was taken into custody. According to the report, when the deputy questioned Bausch about what happened, he said Bausch’s account of the incident changed multiple times. The report also noted that his breath smelled of alcohol. 

WATCH: Nassau County firefighter arrested

The deputy spoke with multiple people about what happened, but their statements were redacted from the report. Two people who were in Room 215 told the deputy that Bausch pointed a gun at their door, the report stated. During the investigation, the deputy found one bullet on the breezeway in front of Room 127. 

"The guy was standing right here, pointing a gun at the door. The deputy came around the corner with a gun pointed at him, telling him to put the gun down," recounted Stay Suites Hotel resident Leroy McCormick.

Before that happened, McCormick said he had been talking with a woman on a first-floor breezeway about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when he had a gun pointed at him. 

"That’s when he asked me for money and I told (him), 'I had no money,'" McCormick said.

McCormick said the man cocked the gun and a single bullet fell from the weapon onto the floor. McCormick said that's when he tried to reason with the man so he could go back to his room and call 911. But McCormick said that after he got back into his apartment, the man came upstairs and started knocking on people’s doors. Marlene Grant said she got a disturbing call from her two teenage sons after they heard a knock at the door.  

"'Mom, somebody out there with a gun.' I’m, like, 'Stop playing,' because my kids like to play. They said, 'No, we are serious about this,'" she said. "Thank God they didn’t open the door.”

Clay County jail officials told News4Jax that a judge on Friday morning set Bausch's bond at $250,000. Since Bausch is a first responder, his booking photo was exempt from public release. 

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