June 18, 2022

WALTON COUNTY, Fla— The plot has thickened in a case originally thought to be a robbery at a Circle K in Miramar Beach.

The gas station clerk Mary Yard, 30, of DeFuniak Springs has been arrested by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and charged with fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Charges stem from her involvement in a multi-county multi-agency pursuit where she drove Dallas Francis, 33, as he repeatedly shot at deputies and later troopers following an attempted traffic stop.

Yard was originally thought to be the victim of the Friday morning robbery. Walton County Sheriff’s Office investigators had been searching for Francis who was suspected of stealing more than $34,000 from the Circle K at around 5:20 am.

Francis has a lengthy criminal history including prior felony charges of aggravated robbery out of Ohio.

It was less than 24 hours later he and Yard led deputies through three counties driving more than 60 miles at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour before being stopped on Interstate 10 at mile marker 53. It was there he opened fire on Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Okaloosa and Walton County deputies.

The shooting shut down I-10 for several hours as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated. Yard was eventually booked into the Okaloosa County Jail and Francis is being treated at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

Additional charges are pending out of Walton County for both Yard and Francis.

We’d like to thank all agencies involved in helping bring two dangerous criminals into custody.