03/06/2013: Three Bystanders Help Woman During Robbery


On February 23, 2013, at approximately 5:30 pm, Cheryl Priester, Tonia Priester, and Patricia Robinson observed a woman being beaten with a large stick and ultimately robbed by another woman in the 2400 block of Pershing Avenue, Sarasota. Tonia Priester called 911 for help and all three women ran to the rescue of the victim screaming for the suspect to stop.  As a result, the suspect stopped assaulting the victim, dropped the stick, and fled.  The suspect stole the victim’s cell phone and a bag of personal items. The victim, who suffers from a mental disability, sustained minor injuries to her arms, neck, shoulder, and face.  Witnesses identified the suspect as Donyelle Sims, date of birth 9/25/76, no address on file. 


Sims has a criminal history.  There are active warrants for the arrest of Donyelle Sims for Aggravated Battery, Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, and Aggravated Abuse of a Disabled Person, in regard to this case.  


Chief DiPino and the Sarasota Police Department commend the three Good Samaritans for their assistance and cooperation with the police to stop a violent crime in progress, protect the victim, and help identify the suspect.

The Sarasota Police Department urges Donyelle Sims to turn herself in. If anyone has information about this crime or the location of Donyelle Sims please contact SPD at (941) 954-7025.