Last Updated: 12:18 p.m.
The armed car-jacking of a Mercedes that started in Bunnell late Saturday night ended in Daytona Beach with the arrest of three teens, the youngest 15, after a pursuit involving at least four police agencies and Volusia County’s Air One helicopter.
Rico Ransom, 18, of 14 Kane Place in Palm Coast, Quajon Laster, 17, of 207 9th Street in Bunnell, Deque McCall, 16, of Woodstone Lane in Palm Coast, and a 15-year-old boy from Peach Street in Bunnell were arrested by Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies. The three older suspects were jailed at the Volusia County jail on charges of carjacking with a firearm and resisting arrest, while the 15 year old was taken to juvenile detention.
The alleged car-jacking took place at gunpoint at South Church Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Bunnel, involving a man at the wheel of a 2005 Mercedes Benz. The Bunnell Police Department responded to the location. A patrolling Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy located the Mercedes and a pursuit began on I-95 into Volusia County where units of the sheriff’s office there joined the pursuit, with Air One airborne.
The Mercedes exited at State Road 40, where it ran over stop sticks, only to drive back onto the interstate, exiting east on LPGA Boulevard. At that point some of the Mercedes’s tires had been damaged, and the car was traveling at about 50 mph. A deputy saw the left tire come off its rim as the car traveled east and the car spun around before turning south on Jimmy Ann Drive then east on Big Ben Drive—a dead end. Air One was able to direct units to the area, keeping a visual on the suspects.
The four occupants then “bailed,” a police report states, fleeing on foot into a small wooded area. A Volusia sheriff’s deputy brought out his K-9, Lasco, and gave chase to two of the suspects who’d bailed out of the passenger side. The two suspects ran into cops who’d set up a perimeter, and who’d also located a third suspect. Before long, the fourth suspect was also apprehended, in his case by a Daytona Beach K-9 unit, according to a Volusia sheriff’s report.
The Flagler Sheriff’s Office’s report on the incident, released Wednesday morning, adds a few details to the incident: the driver of a Lexus was briefly detained at the McDonald’s drive-through on State Road 100 when that driver, who was soon released, was believed to be the suspect. The same deputy a short time later spotted the Mercedes traveling east on SR100. “The vehicle began to change lanes traveling back and forth while maintaining a speed of 55mph-65mph during the entire pursuit,” the report states. “The vehicle exited I-95 at both Old Dixie Highway and S.R. 40 but got right back on the interstate
in an attempt to elude pursuing vehicles.”
Another Flagler deputy reported that as the pursuit continued to Daytona Beach, a Flagler K-9 unit was also involved in the apprehension: “I heard K9 Deputy Fiveash and his K9 partner in the wood line on the south east corner of 140 Big Ben Drive,” the deputy reported, referring to the Flagler K-9 unit. “I ran to the location where multiple other units from the agencies involved in the incident had made contact with a black male, later identified as Deque Daquan McCall, lying in the woods. I observed McCall lying on the ground approximately 20-30 feet into the wood line, wearing a green jacket. I then observed a green ball cap lying on the ground a few feet from where Mr. McCall was located. The ball cap was green in color with a picture of a marijuana leaf on the front and the words ‘Thug Life’ printed on the front. McCall was detained by Deputies without incident and led to a patrol vehicle in the cul de sac on Big Ben Drive.”
The vehicle was registered to Palamena Dimitrova, a 39-year-old resident of Davenport, though she was not at the wheel of the vehicle when it was allegedly car-jacked. Rather, the victim, according to the sheriff’s report, was Luis Manuel Guilermino-Alves, a 47-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s E Section. Saturday morning, a K-Section resident reported to police that when she’d walked out of her house, she’d found a $958 insurance check issued to Dimitrova in the ditch across from her residence, along with a children’s car seat, an orange towel. a screw driver, a phone charger and a black elastic head lamp, all of which were traced to the stolen vehicle.
A Bunnell Police Department report shed further light on the incident, indicating that two of the four suspects had “brandished guns” during the alleged car-jacking. Guilermino-Alves told Bunnell police he’d been standing near the Mercedes when he was approached by the four suspects, two of them with guns. One of the four put his hands in Guilermino-Alves’s pocket and took out his car keys, then told him to “run away.” The four then drove off in the vehicle. As Guilermino-Alves was running away, he called 911.
The Bunnell deputy–officer Austin Chewning–then asked the victim why he was in a “known high drug and crime area.” The victim told the cop, according to the report, that he “had some tools he wanted to sell because he was broke,” and had seen a man he knew a couple of blocks away from where the incident took place. The man suggested Guilermino-Alves could try his luck at a house on East Martin Luther King Boulevard. It was there that the four individuals approached him.
“I believe that Mr. Alves was not being honest with me about the incident,” Chewning reported, “and began questioning him about the male he met a few blocks from the incident. Mr. Alves [said] that he only met the male once and that he did not know his name.” The victim completed a sworn written statement and said he wanted to file charges against the suspect, if they were caught. Chewning and Guilermino-Alves then drove down to Volusia where Guilermino-Alves positively identified the suspects.