Bloomington man accused of spraying delivery driver with lighter fluid during attempted robbery

Gary Staggs

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A Bloomington man is facing charges after police say he admitted to spraying lighter fluid in a pizza delivery man’s face during an attempted robbery.

Officers responded to the scene in the 200 block of Rogers Street at about 11:21 p.m.

The victim told police he had just finished his last run for the night when the suspect approached him in a parking lot, sprayed him in the face and told him, “Give me all your money or I’ll light you on fire,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

The victim says he then reached over to his passenger seat, as if to grab money, but he picked up his spotlight and shined it in the face of the suspect. He then quickly started his car, fled the area and only returned once police had arrived.

Around Aug. 16, police say two people informed a detective that Gary Staggs, 41, admitted to them that he tried to rob the delivery driver.

According to police, Staggs was incarcerated in an unrelated case on Aug. 21.

When officers went to speak with Staggs, he allegedly admitted to the attempted robbery and spraying the victim with the fluid. He said he didn’t have a lighter on him at the time and didn’t intend to hurt the victim. He also added that he wasn’t acting himself, because he was so high on Xanax pills at the time, the affidavit says.

Now, Staggs has been charged with attempted robbery, a level 5 felony, and battery, a level B misdemeanor.

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