Two teenage boys were arrested Thursday after a carjacking during which one of the youths grabbed a victim around the neck to keep her from leaving her SUV, St. Petersburg police said.
The incident occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a Walmart at 3501 34th St. S., St. Petersburg.
A 29-year-old woman had parked her silver 2007 Toyota 4-Runner and was preparing to exit the sport utility vehicle when one of the teens entered from the front passenger door, police said.
The teen, later identified as 15-year Anthony Michael Cascio, demanded that the woman drive the SUV out of the lot, police said. Cascio grabbed the woman around the neck when she attempted to escape, police said.
The woman began screaming, which attracted the attention of a passer-by who approached the SUV to see what was wrong, police said. The distraction allowed her to break free and exit the vehicle, police said.
Cascio moved to the driver’s seat, and another teen, identified as 17-year-old Alganon Bernard Harris, jumped into the passenger seat. The pair drove the SUV out of the Walmart lot, police said.
A short time later, officers spotted the Toyota on the 2700 block of 28th Street South and attempted to stop the vehicle. The SUV fled and a pursuit was authorized, police said.
The two suspects, who had been joined by another male, abandoned the vehicle on the 2400 block of 27th Street South, police said. The three attempted to run away but were apprehended with the assistance of a K-9 unit and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, police said.
Cascio and Harris were then identified by the woman, police said.
Cascio and Harris, both of St. Petersburg, faces charges of carjacking and false imprisonment.
Police said the other person arrested, 21-year-old Jeremey Robinson, was apparently not involved in the carjacking but was charged with resisting an officer without violence.