LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A surveillance camera at a Lakeland business captured the dramatic end of a police chase.
The camera at Value Imports Plus in Lakeland was rolling as the car careened over a bank, flipped over and burst into flames. Henry Coker owns the business and had no idea the camera captured the wreck – until the next morning.
“A fence repairman said, ‘I bet you were happy you didn’t have your Mercedes cars out here out front.’ And I said, ‘Well, what are you talking about?’ He said, ‘High speed chase ended here last night,'” Coker told News Channel 8. “So I immediately went back to the cameras and said, “‘We’ve got to see if we’ve got some footage,’ and low and behold we had spectacular video.”
Investigators say a deputy was patrolling the area of Highway 98 and County Road 540A in Lakeland. The deputy was stopped at a red light behind a 2005 red four-door Toyota Corolla. The deputy ran the tag and discovered the car had been stolen during an armed carjacking on Feb. 27.
Once other deputies, including the aviation unit, were in place, the deputy attempted to stop the stolen Toyota. The driver of the Toyota took off.
The deputy initiated a pursuit and eventually the car crashed at a business on George Jenkins Boulevard. The car burst into flames and deputies worked quickly to extinguish the flames, rescuing the occupants.
They arrested the driver, 19-year-old Kevvin Oneal, of Lakeland. He faces charges of aggravated fleeing to elude, grand theft and driving without a license.
The passenger, 17-year-old Efrem Allen, also from Lakeland, faces a trespassing charge. Both men were injured in the crash. They will be booked into jail upon their release from the hospital.
Detectives from the Lakeland Police Department have yet to interview the men, nor have they been able to determine if they are responsible for carjacking.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation into the pursuit and crash.
The victim in the carjacking didn’t want to be identified, but told News Channel 8 the men held a gun to his head and he thought they were going to shoot him. He ran when he got the chance and searched for cover.
“Behind me there are two trees … So I was thinking I should run over there because I have a 50-50 chance if they shoot at me, they could either hit the tree or me,” the victim said.
NOTE: We did not add the music to this video. This is the way the footage was provided to News Channel 8.
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