Fitness Model Arrested for Robbery Becomes Internet Sensation

Elise Solé
David Byers, a fitness model, was arrested on suspicion of robbery. (Photo: Instagram/Michael Stokes)

A fitness model was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of robbery, but it’s his hunky, off-the-clock photos that are making headlines.

After leading police on a dramatic car-and-foot chase, David Byers, a fitness model in Solana Beach, Calif., was arrested Wednesday in San Diego for allegedly robbing the same Riverside Chase bank twice and one Cos Cob Citco gas station, both located in Connecticut.

According to local news site Greenwich Time, Byers, who was in possession of a handgun, will be charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of larceny, and a felony count of reckless endangerment.

“I am surprised because David is one of my more popular models, and he doesn’t strike me as a violent guy,” Michael Stokes, a Los Angeles-based photographer who works with Byers, tells Yahoo Style. “He’s definitely a bad boy, and he’s disappointed a lot of women, but he texted me last week with news that he moved to New York to be with his girlfriend — who he’s very much in love with — and that he’s finally happy.”

David Byers, a fitness model, is a suspect in three robberies. (Photo: Yuma Police Department)

Byers’s muscular body is covered in colorful tattoos, including a neck design, the latter of which police emphasized as a defining trait in the description of the model. This isn’t Byers’s first encounter with the law: According to Greenwich Time, in March he was charged with burglary, grand theft, and driving while intoxicated; and in 2016 he was arrested on unknown charges.

There’s also a report that Byers falsely presented himself as an ex-member of the U.S. Navy SEALs; however, Stokes, who photographs wounded soldiers, dismisses it as a rumor. “According to David, his ex-girlfriend made that up,” he tells Yahoo Style.

As for Byers’s sudden fame, Stokes chalks up the attention to Byers’s “bad boy” appeal. “He has a look that makes women want to rehabilitate him,” he tells Yahoo Style. Well, let’s hope that happens!

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