WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) — A 20-year-old homeless man is accused of crashing a stolen police car after attempting to rob an Amscot in Winter Haven, according to authorities.
Police say employees at the Amscot located at 2121 8th Street Northwest dialed 911 when a rock came crashing through the front glass door of the business Saturday around 9:30 p.m.
Moments later, 20-year-old Menylek Jarrett, who is homeless, entered the business and threw a rock at the teller’s glass, which did not shatter. Undeterred, police say Jarrett tried to enter the door of the teller area but failed, instead choosing to flee the scene.
Unaware that Jarret had left the business, officers entered the building. At the same time, police say Jarret smashed the driver’s side window of a locked patrol car occupied by police K-9 Logan.
Jarrett then drove off toward the intersection of 8th Street and Havendale Boulevard where he crashed into several vehicles.
“We were just stopped at a traffic light, waiting for it to turn. Next thing you know, I heard a big bang,” said Phil King, who was on his way home from the airport.
His dash cameras captured footage of the cruiser hitting several vehicles.
“I didn’t see the lights coming in from behind us so I knew that either the car had been stolen or there may have been a medical emergency within the car,” King said. “After hitting the vehicles, the wheels continued to spin.”
Realizing the patrol car had been totaled, Jarrett ran towards Inman Park where police caught up on foot.
One person involved in a crashed vehicle was rushed to an area hospital with head pain. No other injuries were reported. K-9 Logan is said to be “safe as well.”
Jarrett was booked into the Polk County Jail where he is currently being held with no bond. He was charged with business burglary, grand theft-motor vehicle, attempted burglary of a conveyance, tampering with a police K9, resisting without violence, leaving the scene of a crash with injury, reckless driving, no valid driver’s license-never issued.