A man paralyzed from the waist down allegedly stole a car from a Florida dealership on Wednesday and was chased for 50 miles by multiple police departments.
The suspect, Shamal Battice, was apprehended at a Bradford County gas station, southwest of Jacksonville, where a sheriff’s deputy spotted him begging customers for money to fill up the tank, the Associated Press reported.
Battice, who is wheelchair-bound, got into a white 2009 Pontiac G8, with the help of a salesman at a Ford dealership in Ocala. TV station WKMG reported.
Once inside, the 28-year-old locked the doors and zoomed out of the lot by using a collapsible cane to work the gas and brake pedals, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.
That started a pursuit across three counties. Marion County Sheriff’s deputies gave up when Battice crossed into Alachua county, according to station WOGX. Deputies there decided at some point to abandon the chase too. Finally, a Bradford County deputy brought Battice’s illegal test drive to an end as the suspect tried to refuel.
The Bradford County Sheriff’s office charged Battice with a non-moving traffic violation and vehicular theft.
Some news organizations reported that Battice was arrested for driving with a suspended license and that he could be charged with grand theft auto.