December 20, 2013 St. Petersburg, Florida (WTSP) — A 17-year old girl is recovering Wednesday after investigators say she was pistol-whipped and carjacked from a driveway in the 1800 block of 64th Avenue North.
The victim, 17-year-old Giana Wagenman, was driving Tuesday night around 6:30 p.m. She had a friend in the passenger seat when she pulled into the driveway where the carjacking occurred.
Officials say two men in hoodies drove up, pointed a gun in her face and demanded she turn over the keys. And though she obeyed, the men reportedly pistol-whipped her anyway.
“The possibility exists that maybe the suspects spotted the car, and might have followed it for a little bit to see if the opportunity presented itself,” Mike Puetz with St. Pete PD told 10 News. “Apparently it did, and as soon as they got out of the car, they figured they’d just go ahead and rush the girls,” he said.
To make matters worse for Giana, her father, a Thurgood Marshall Middle School science teacher, passed away in a motorcycle crash last year.
As for the robbery, one of the two suspects took off in the victim’s car, a black, 2013 Hyundai Sonata with tag number BSF W08, while the other left in what is believed to be a dark, Chevy Malibu.
They were nowhere to be found until Wednesday evening around 6:30, when officials received reports that the stolen Sonata was spotted near Park Boulevard North and 43rd Street.
Preliminary reports from the St. Petersburg Police Department said officials responded to the area and saw the car parked at a Citgo gas pump. They watched as the driver went into the store, and then walked back out to get into the passenger side of another car.
Multiple patrol cars attempted to block the cars in the lot, and that’s when they say the driver of the second car, 24-year-old Mundae Francis, sped toward and crashed into one of the cop cars, injuring the officer inside.
The officer was taken to the hospital, though reports say he will recover.
Francis and his 16-year-old passenger, said to be the driver of the stolen Hyundai Sonata earlier, were arrested. Officials reportedly found drugs inside the car, and say they will face multiple charges, though those have not yet been specified.
Meanwhile, the third man arrested Wednesday evening- originally the passenger in the stolen Sonata- moved over into the driver’s seat and rammed into several police cars before driving over gas pumps to getaway.
Deputies chased him until they eventually had to clip the back of the getaway car with a patrol car to stop him.
The driver, 18-year-old Cory Ellis, faces multiple charges of Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. Reports say they also found a gun in the car.
Investigators believe Ellis and the 16-year-old suspect match the description of Tuesday’s carjacking suspects.