A Bourbon man has been charged with felony first-degree robbery and is being held in the Franklin County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond following an armed robbery at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Sullivan on Friday.

Sullivan Police stated James Randall Andrews, 24, was apprehended nearby in the Interstate 44 median shortly after the 8 p.m. incident at the truck plaza, 825 N. Loop Drive near the mile marker 226 exit of I-44.

According to a press release from the Sullivan Police Department, officers were dispatched to the scene for a robbery in progress where a man wearing a mask was armed with a knife.

Before law enforcement arrived, the man left the travel plaza on foot, but was followed to the median by a witness.

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said a deputy responded to a report of a man brandishing a knife at another man along I-44 near Highway 185. The other man turned out to be the witness.

Toelke said the deputy observed a subject fitting the description of the suspect standing in a traffic lane of I-44 near the travel plaza. The subject was shoving a second person while holding a knife in his other hand in a cocked position as if he was preparing to lunge toward the second subject. 

The deputy ordered the subject to drop his knife.  The subject then turned toward the deputy as if he was going to lunge toward the deputy.  The deputy stepped back raising his service weapon and again ordered the subject to drop the knife. 

This time the subject complied.  He was taken into custody for investigation of armed robbery. 

Toelke said the suspect earlier had gone into the Flying J, brandished a knife at a cashier, grabbed some money and ran out.

The witness then followed the suspect and confronted him before the deputy arrived and took him into custody.

No one was injured in the confrontation.

On Saturday, a warrant for Andrews was obtained through Franklin County Circuit Court for the first-degree robbery charge. Additional charges are pending, Sullivan police said.

Probable Cause

According to a probable cause statement from the Sullivan Police Department, a cashier inside the travel plaza was attempting to receive money from a customer when Andrews allegedly grabbed a $20 bill from her hand.

The subject ordered both cashiers behind the counter to give him all the money in the registers while pointing a knife at the woman.

The subject, who was wearing a mask at the time, jumped on top of the counter.

Then, the statement reads, the subject fled from the building, and the customer who witnessed the incident began chasing him.

The subject stopped running when he reached the I-44 median. The witness still was with him.

The suspect lunged at the customer several times with the knife in his hand in a “menacing manner” as witnessed by Deputy Charles Herwig.

The subject then turned toward Herwig and pointed the knife toward him before surrendering. He continued to resist arrest for a short period of time after he was cuffed.

The subject confessed to the robbery and stated he needed the money to pay his rent.