Authorities in Polk County, Florida, say a 20-year-old homeless man crashed a stolen police car after allegedly attempting to rob an Amscot financial services branch in Winter Haven.
The incident unfolded when employees at the Amscot called 9-1-1 after a rock was hurled through the front glass door of the establishment on a Saturday evening at approximately 9:30 p.m.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the suspect, identified as Menyelek Jarrett, entered the premises shortly after the initial incident and threw a rock at the teller’s glass, which fortunately did not break. Undeterred by this failed attempt, Jarrett then tried to gain access to the teller area by force but was unsuccessful. Subsequently, he decided to flee the scene.
Unbeknownst to Jarrett, law enforcement officers had already arrived at the scene and entered the building. Simultaneously, the suspect proceeded to smash the driver’s-side window of a locked patrol car, which had a police K-9 named Logan inside. Jarrett then drove away, but ended up crashing into multiple vehicles in an intersection.
Phil King, who happened to be in the area after returning from the airport, witnessed the incident, which was captured on his dash camera. “We were just stopped at a traffic light, waiting for it to turn. Next thing you know, I heard a big bang,” King told WFLA News. “I didn’t see the lights coming in from behind us so I knew that either the car had been stolen or there may have been a medical emergency within the car. After hitting the vehicles, the wheels continued to spin.”
Jarrett, realizing the patrol car was now inoperable, fled on foot. However, the police were able to apprehend him at a nearby park.
As a result of the crash, one individual involved in a collision sustained head pain and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, there were no other reported injuries, and K-9 Logan was confirmed to be safe.
Jarrett has since been booked into the Polk County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond. He faces charges including business burglary, grand theft motor vehicle, attempted burglary of a conveyance, tampering with a police K-9, resisting without violence, leaving the scene of a crash with injury, reckless driving and driving without a valid driver’s license.