Winter Haven officer stops carjacking of man, 74

Jose Noel Martinez, Polk County Jail booking photo

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Winter Haven Police detective is being credited with stopping a carjacking Thursday.

Larry McClure said he had just gone into a Walgreens, located at 805 Havendale Blvd., for some milk when a man ran up and demanded his keys. “He said, ‘Give me your keys, I’ll take you down old man,’ and grabbed my hand, and I pulled away from him and put ’em in the other hand and the detective was there,” McClure said.

Detective Aida Roias just happened to be in the parking lot, sitting in her unmarked patrol car when she noticed the struggle. “What first caught my attention was seeing the victim pull away as the suspect was trying to get the keys from his hand, and I’m like, ‘That doesn’t look normal. What’s going on?'” Roias said.

The suspect Jose Martinez, 26, told her he hadn’t slept and wanted shelter, so he decided to take the car, Roias said. The detective put handcuffs on him and took him to jail for shelter and to be booked for carjacking.

“It could have turned out very bad,” Roias said.

Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird believes his officer may have saved a life. “I think that Aida did an outstanding job. It just goes to show you the quality of the officers that we have here,” Bird said.

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