POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A 32-year-old man was arrested after officials said he attempted to carjack four different vehicles on Friday.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said around 7:45 a.m. on Friday, officials received a report of a vehicle crash on I-4 where the driver left the area.
Calls then came in with reports of a suspect attempting to jump into and steal different vehicles.
During the first carjacking attempt, the suspect ran up to a gray Chevy Colorado parked at a gas station in Lake Alfred and tried to get inside. The driver was pumping gas at the time.
She sprayed him with gas from the hose when she saw him try to get inside her car, Sheriff Judd said.
The suspect then jumped into another victim’s car that was parked nearby. The owner of the van was standing outside the store when he saw the suspect.
That victim drew his handgun and pointed it at the suspect and demanded he get out, Sheriff Judd said. The suspect then left the area.
Sheriff Judd later identified the suspect as 32-year-old Christopher Hendrix. Hendrix later ran onto SR 557 and jumped off the side of the overpass onto I-4.
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A crash occurred after a box truck slammed on the brakes trying to avoid hitting Hendrix.
Hendrix then attempted to get in the back seat of a vehicle that pulled over to help, Sheriff Judd said.
However, the doors were locked.
Hendrix then ran across the I-4 shoulder and got into the passenger seat of a Chevy Equinox, Sheriff Judd said. That driver also stopped to help.
The driver took the keys out of the ignition and jumped out of the car.
PCSO deputies had just arrived and took Hendrix into custody.
Sheriff Judd said in all, Hendrix attempted to carjack four different vehicles.
When Hendrix was placed in the back of the PCSO vehicle, he kicked out the rear window and attempted to escape.
“This violent, convicted felon was bound and determined to forcibly steal a car this morning, but our citizens said, not today.’ While I’m grateful nobody was seriously injured, I’m also very proud of these four victims for keeping their wits about them and refusing to allow this man to take what’s theirs,” said Sheriff Judd.
Hendrix is being charged with one count of carjacking, one count of grand theft auto, two counts of occupied burglary, one count of felony criminal mischief and one count of escape.