Men charged after carjacking truck with child inside, Hernando County deputies say


BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies in Hernando County arrested two men Saturday after they allegedly stole a pick-up truck with a child still in backseat, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said they were called to a Speedway on Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville after a woman said two men stole her Ford F-250 while she was trying to get fuel.

The mother told deputies that she and one of her children went inside the convenience store while the other child stayed in the truck’s back seat and played a hand-held video game.

It was during this time, the sheriff’s office said, that two men jumped into the vehicle and began to drive off with the child in the backseat. The two suspects were later identified as Samuel Christopher Rorah, 28 of Lakeland and Toby Gene Barber, 47, of Spring Hill.

Before leaving the gas station’s parking lot, the men noticed the child in the seat and left them behind as they drove off on Cortez Boulevard, according to a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office release.

Deputies said the child then ran in the store and told the rest of the family that the truck was stolen. The child wasn’t injured but was “very scared,” according to authorities.

Two deputies in an unmarked vehicle later spotted the stolen truck heading west in the area of of Mariner Boulevard and Cortez Boulevard and began to follow the truck until other deputies arrived.

The sheriff’s office said Rorah tried to shake the two deputies by stopping the truck and waving at them to move ahead, but when the deputies didn’t move, he began to drive faster, eventually starting a chase when he ran a stop sign and deputies activated their emergency lights.

The chase eventually ended on Mallard Street when Rorah lost control and stopped the truck in someone’s yard.

Barber tried to run away through several backyards until a deputy arrested him on Juliet Court.

Rorah, on the other hand, managed to evade deputies for a while after running away but was caught in a wooded area after another deputy spotted him and directed K-9 units to where he was.

Both suspects face charges for carjacking and resisting arrest without violence. Rorah also has been charged with knowingly drive while license suspended/revoked.

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