Daytona Beach, FL – Police arrest a 32-year-old Atlanta man for trying to jack a vehicle with two small boys inside from the IHOP parking lot across the street from Daytona International Speedway.
K-9 officers with the Daytona Beach Police Department nabbed Joshua D. Gerdes minutes after the call for help came around 4:30 yesterday afternoon from the parking lot of the restaurant at 155 Bill France Blvd.
Detectives say Gerdes tried to take a white 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer from a 26-year-old Orange City man who had left the car with the engine running in the parking lot while helping out a friend who had been involved in an accident nearby.
According to the arrest report, Gerdes rode up on a bicycle as the Mitsubishi driver was helping his friend, opened the driver’s side door, threw a backpack inside and jumped into the driver’s seat. The man’s sons – ages 4 and 5 – were asleep inside the Mitsubishi at the time.
The report notes that the Mitsubishi was parked one space away from the vehicle involved in the accident and that the Mitsubishi owner was dragged about 50 yards while holding on to the driver’s side door after he saw Gerdes attempt to drive away.
DBPD says Gerdes bolted from the car after realizing the kids were inside and he ran away heading north into a nearby wooded area just before he was caught.
Gerdes apologized for taking the car when he was caught, saying he didn’t know the kids were inside, per the report.
The car owner had lacerations and abrasions to his knees and was checked out by paramedics at the scene. No other injuries were reported.
Gerdes is being held on $100,000 bond at Volusia County Jail on charges of carjacking, aggravated battery and two counts of kidnapping a child under 13 years of age.
Mugshot is courtesy of Volusia County Jail.
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