Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police seek man who carjacked woman's car in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are seeking the public's help in finding a man suspected of stealing a woman's car and threatening people with a knife.

About 5 p.m. Monday, Amporn Putagool, 52, was leaving her car at the CVS Pharmacy, 8001 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N. A man approached her and initially began asking for directions.

She gave him directions and then got into the driver's seat of her car, police said. The man then jumped into the car's back seat behind Putagool and put his arm around her throat. He demanded she drive him to the place he had asked about, 104 Avenue N and 49th Street in Pinellas Park.

She screamed and tried to break free from the man, who pulled her hair and continued to hold his arm around her neck.

John Porter, 63, was parking his car in the lot when he heard the commotion, he told the St. Petersburg Times.

"I heard a woman screaming very urgently," he said.

He went to Putagool's car and first thought it was a domestic dispute. When he saw that the man had a knife and his arm around her throat, he realized it wasn't.

He yelled at the man to stop and helped Putagool exit the car. After that, the man turned to him.

"He faced me with the knife," he said. "He brandished it not in the clumsy way, but the knife-fight way."

Porter remembered him telling him to get away and stay out of it. Then the man crawled into the driver seat and drove the car away, heading south.

The two then returned to the store and called police. Putagool had a sore right shoulder and some bruising.

Putagool's car, a 1998 green Ford Escort, was found abandoned at the rear of the Florida Veterinary Clinic at 8500 4th St. N.

Police discovered the suspect had been inside the CVS store before the incident and had bought two cans of Sobe, an energy drink, before going outside. The man then loitered in front of the store for about half an hour before attacking Putagool.

Much of the incident was caught by the store's video cameras. The man is described as white, in his 20s, 6 feet tall, with short light brown hair and tattoos on both arms.

Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780, the tip line at (727) 892-5000 or they can text a tip at (727) 420-8911.

"Boy, did I feel sorry for that woman," Porter said. "All I did was walk in the direction of somebody in severe distress to see if something could be done. And what else? Maybe I saved her life."

Police seek man who carjacked woman's car in St. Petersburg 08/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  2. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.
  3. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed

    World

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  4. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post

    News

    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  5. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike

    Health

    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]