Mother, son, two other teens remain jailed on armed robbery charge

Three DeKalb County teenagers and the mother of one of them remained in the Gwinnett County jail Monday on charges of robbing a bank and then leading police on a high-speed chase.

Around 9 a.m. Friday, Tawander Simmons, 35, of Stone Mountain and two teenagers held up a Wells Fargo Bank in the 5500 block of Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn while the third teen waited in the car, police said.

It's not clear how the three teens came to be with Simmons because there are conflicting accounts.

According to Lilburn Police spokesman Bruce Hedley, Simmons picked up her son, Benny Brice, 17, and the two other boys, at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain. But school police reported that only Brice came to the school and he decided to leave because the other two had skipped. DeKalb school officials later said none of the teenagers came to school Friday.

All versions of the story agreed that the mother had the handgun  used in the robbery.

Lilburn police began chase within minutes after a witness described the getaway car as a  red Toyota Corolla, with two cruisers chasing the the Corolla at speeds up to 90 mph down U.S. Highway 78 onto southbound I-285.  The Toyota exited at East Ponce de Leon Avenue near Clarkston and tried to turn right without slowing. The Corolla ran into an embankment and then into railroad tracks, Hedley said.

"No innocent bystanders were injured," Hedley said. "We were very lucky."

Police arrested Simmons and her son, along with Glenn Broom, 18, and David Rawlins, 17, both of Lithonia. All four are charged with armed robbery.

Broom's father, also named Glenn, learned of his son's arrest by reading Friday afternoon. He spoke briefly with a reporter on the phone, while a woman cried in the background.

Broom said his son was friends with Brice but he said he didn't know how Simmons picked him up Friday morning. "I'm trying to find out right now," he said. "I'm just without words. ... My son is a good kid."