Dispatch told the deputy that a white male with numerous tattoos left the scene in a green Ford Expedition and was headed down Highway 113 toward Cartersville. The fleeing vehicle was pulled over on Burnt Hickory Road.
As the deputy exited his vehicle, he could not see anyone in the vehicle. While waiting for backup, the deputy saw the driver and had him show his hands outside the vehicle and asked how many people were in the car. The driver replied, “Three!”
After two Cartersville units arrived as backup, the deputy preformed a felony traffic stop. The driver, Mathew Irwin, and the rear passenger, Jacob Monaco, were asked to step out of the vehicle and were detained. The vehicle was cleared and no one else was inside, according to the incident report.
Dispatch advised the deputy that a black revolver with a wooden handle was used in the armed robbery. A gun fitting the description was located on the rear floor board of the vehicle. The weapon had three live rounds of ammunition in the cylinder. The weapon was secured in the trunk of the deputy’s patrol car.
The deputy spoke with Irwin who said he, along with Monaco and one other offender, went to the Citgo on Highway 113. The offender allegedly went into the store to buy a drink, then came out to the vehicle and stated, “Let’s go.” Irwin said he did not know the third offender well, but just picked him up at the McDonald’s parking lot on Highway 113. Irwin told the deputy the third offender was in the vehicle, but he did not realize he had fled from the vehicle during the felony traffic stop. Irwin told the deputy that the offender wore blue jeans and a khaki jacket.
Monaco told the deputy the same story. The deputy asked Monaco where the other male went and he said, “When the blue lights came on from the police car, he was freaking out. He threw the gun onto the back floor near him [Monaco] and fled out the door,” according to the incident report.
The deputy then went to the incident location and picked up the complainant and brought her back to the location to identify the subjects. According to the complainant, the two offenders were not in the store at the time of the incident, but she knew them because they frequently came into the store. She also stated that the third offender was Monaco’s brother and she had seen all three in the store together on previous occasions.
The deputy went back to speak with Monaco. He informed Monaco that he knew it was his brother. The offender said, “Yes, it was John.”
Again, the deputy met with the complainant at the McDonald’s on Highway 113. At that time, she said the third offender, now known as John Monaco, came to the register and asked her how much stuff they had. She stated, “What stuff?” According to the report, “He stated Spice! She told him she could not sell it to him. He then stated ‘Alexis, I am about to do something really shady!’ She stated what and he pulled a gun out of his right belt side, with his left hand and pointed the gun at her. He stated give it to me, I threw it (spice) on the counter, he grabbed it, turned around and ran out the door.” She then called 911.
The deputy then spoke with a witness who told the deputy that he and his mother pulled into the Citgo parking lot and saw a green Ford Expedition backed into a parking spot located on the side of the store. He then saw a male, wearing a “whitish” hoodie over his head run out of the store towards the Ford. As he was getting into the vehicle, the break lights allegedly came on, the vehicle was put into gear and sped off.
At 1:31 a.m. on Jan. 16, Cartersville police located John Monaco walking near 116 Meadow Lane. He was wearing blue jeans, a khaki-colored jacket and a “grayish” hoodie inside an overcoat. He was taken into custody.
Matthew Irwin was arrested and charged with armed robbery-party to a crime, possession of a firearm during commission of crime-party to a crime, aggravated assault-party to a crime and possession of arms by convicted felons.
Jacob Monaco was arrested and charged with party to a crime-armed robbery, possession of firearms during commission of crime-party to a crime and aggravated assault-party to a crime.
John Monaco was arrested and charged with armed robbery intimidation taking control of substance, possession of arms by convicted felon, aggravated assault and possession of firearm during crime.