Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police: Man stole car at gunpoint, prompting multicounty chase

TAMPA — An armed carjacking outside a downtown hotel Saturday started a multicounty chase involving several law enforcement agencies that ended two hours later after the carjacker returned to the area, authorities said.

Matthew Evan Cartagena, 20, of Tampa faces charges of armed carjacking, aggravated fleeing to elude and resisting arrest after police say he stole a car at gunpoint from a Michigan couple in town for a wedding. Tampa police released the following account of the incident, which began about 11:20 a.m.:

Jainullabdin Syed, 67, and Khursheed Syed, 56 — of Essexville, Mich. — had just put their 6-year-old grandson in their car outside the Hilton at 211 N Tampa St. when Cartagena approached with a gun and demanded the keys. If they didn't give him the keys, the man told the Syeds, according to police, he'd "blow their heads off." Cartagena removed the boy from the car, and the Syeds handed over the keys.

Cartagena took Interstate 4 east to Interstate 75 and headed south, with Tampa police in pursuit. Other law enforcement agencies joined the chase as he headed south: the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, the Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte County sheriff's offices, and North Port Police Department. Tampa police followed Cartagena as far south as Sarasota before turning back.

They didn't have to wait too long, however, because eventually the chase boomeranged. Cartagena reversed course on I-75 and headed north, and other agencies called Tampa police to let them know the stolen Range Rover was on its way back. Several officers were waiting along I-75, and followed when Cartagena exited in Brandon. Cartagena was stuck at a red light, police said, in the area of Bloomingdale Avenue and Gornto Lake Road when he bailed out of the Range Rover and ran. He left the vehicle in gear and it caused a small accident with no injuries, police said. Cartagena was arrested about 1:20 p.m. He was booked into Hillsborough County jail Saturday night, records show, and was denied bail.

The Syeds and their grandson were not injured in the incident, according to police. "It was kind of a terrifying situation for the victims, but it ended well," said Tampa Lt. Calvin Johnson.

Times researcher Tim Rozgonyi contributed to this report.

Tampa police: Man stole car at gunpoint, prompting multicounty chase 08/31/13 [Last modified: Saturday, August 31, 2013 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Unforgiving wildfires affect vineyard workers and owners

    Nation

    SONOMA, Calif. — When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives. Some vineyard owners decided to stay and fight back, spending days digging firebreaks and sleeping among their vines.

    Wilma Illanes and daughter Gabriela Cervantes, 8, found their home intact, but had lost a week’s wages and sought aid.
  2. O'Reilly got new contract after big settlement

    Nation

    Last January, six months after Fox News ousted its chairman amid a sexual harassment scandal, the network's top-rated host at the time, Bill O'Reilly, struck a $32 million agreement with a longtime network analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations, two people briefed on the matter told the New York …

    Bill O’Reilly was fired by Fox News after multiple allegations.
  3. Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that he planned to release the tens of thousands of never-before-seen documents left in the files related to President John F. Kennedy's assassination held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

    FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy waves from his car in a motorcade in Dallas. Riding with Kennedy are First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, right, Nellie Connally, second from left, and her husband, Texas Gov. John Connally, far left.  President Donald Trump, on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017,  says he plans to release thousands of never-seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy's assassination.  (AP Photo/Jim Altgens, File) NY107
  4. Water leak slows traffic in Westshore area

    Public Safety

    TAMPA –– A broken water main has closed the westbound lane of West Cypress Street between North Westshore Boulevard and North Ward Street. The city estimates the repairs will be completed by 7 a.m. on Sunday.

  5. Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations

    Nation

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

    Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel in April following reports that several women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. [Associated Press file]