Felon Anthony Ray Barnes, 27, allegedly posted to social media threatening to kill any law enforcement that tried to arrest him. He showed off his gun and taunted police, according to Sheriff Bob Johnson.
On May 28, Barnes got his mug shot taken in Santa Rosa County for the 13th time in eight years. In the photo both his eyes are bruised and swollen shut. He had blood on his face, obscuring his telltale face tattoos.
Not visible in the photo is a bite injury from a K-9 deployed to take him down as he ran from law enforcement. Barnes was transported to the hospital for treatment before heading back to Santa Rosa County Jail.
Johnson described the man hunt and high-speed chase through south Santa Rosa County that ended in Barnes’s arrest as “the tale of two idiots.” Johnson shared details of the case with reporters in a press conference in Milton May 29.
According to Johnson, an off-duty Gulf Breeze police officer recognized Barnes at the gas station at the corner of Oriole Beach Road and Gulf Breeze Parkway. The officer knew there was a warrant for Barnes’s arrest and called law enforcement.
Barnes has a distinctive pattern of spiderwebs, triangles, names and black tear drops tattooed around his eyes.
“Thank you for tattooing your face like that because it made it easy for us,” Johnson said.
When deputies arrived, Barnes sped off in a vehicle, accompanied by another felon, identified as Joseph James Kennedy, 44.
The chase proceeded down U.S. Highway 98 for more than 20 minutes, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. Deputies did not call off the chase because of the dangerous statements Barnes had made.
“He runs like he always does,” Johnson said. “He’s been in more car chases than I have, and I’ve been a cop for 35 years.”
The fleeing vehicle’s left front tire blew out, and the vehicle collided with a U.S. Marshal’s car.
Both men bailed out of the vehicle and ran. As deputies caught up to him, Kennedy surrendered, but Barnes allegedly attempted to fight. A K-9 was deployed.
“Mr. Barnes gets bit. He continues to fight. He gets tazed. He continues to fight. Then finally a couple of officers have to get on top of him and subdue him,” Johnson said.
In the process, a sergeant’s arm was broken.
The initial weapons charge that sparked the hunt for Barnes resulted after he allegedly hid a backpack containing a gun, meth and marijuana in the ice vending area of Days Inn and Suites in Navarre.
According to the sheriff’s office report, deputies were called April 4 due to suspicious persons on the premises. Security video shows Barnes taking the backpack into the vending area where it was found and leaving without it while avoiding deputies on scene.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and the search for the man with face tattoos began.
Nearly a month later, Barnes barely evaded deputies in Pace but left behind his truck and large quantities of drugs, according to another report.
Witnesses said Barnes fled the scene on Jabro Drive May 15, jumping a neighbor’s fence as deputies arrived. In his truck they discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia, resulting in deputies suspecting Barnes was dealing drugs.
Despite Barnes’s distinctive facial tattoos, he would not be captured until the chase May 28. Johnson said neither of the men were strangers to law enforcement, pointing out Barnes had a rap sheet 47 pages long and that Kennedy had 67 prior felony arrests.
Johnson said both men need to be incarcerated.
“When they get out, they both go straight back to what they’ve been doing, and it gets kind of tiring after a while,” he said.
Barnes has been charged with:
• Fleeing and eluding (felony)
• Driving with a suspended driver’s license
• Two counts of resisting arrest without violence (felonies)
• One count of resisting arrest with violence (felony)
• Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon (felony)
• Drugs possession (felony)
• Drug equipment possession
• Distribution of meth (felony)
Kennedy has been charged with felony resisting an officer without violence. Both men remained in Santa Rosa County Jail as of press time.