STUART – A man punched a 20-year-old woman in the back of the head as he and a group hijacked a Dodge Charger in a parking lot on Monday, then led several law enforcement officers on a chase through two counties, according to Stuart Police. .
The woman and man parked at a lot in Regency Square in the 2500 block of Southeastern US 1 in Stuart, according to an incident report.
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After the couple pulled over and got out of the car, a group of three to four men parked behind them and approached them, police said.
One of the men pulled out a gun, threatened the 20-year-old man and demanded the car keys, investigators said.
Investigators did not specify the weapon used by the suspect.
The woman tried to help the man when a member of the group hit her on the back of the head with the weapon, investigators said.
The group of men got into the car and drove off. The couple drove to a nearby business to call the police, according to the incident report.
The men escaped police, sheriff’s deputies and troopers pursuing them through Martin and Palm Beach counties.
Martin County Sheriff’s Deputies located the Charger on Southeast Bridge Road in Hobe Sound toward Interstate 95 and initiated a pursuit.
Deputies placed arresting sticks – a tire deflation device – on the road, which the vehicle hit.
But the driver didn’t stop and traveled northbound on Interstate 95. The driver reversed into the southbound lanes and drove into Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies continued the pursuit and lost sight of the vehicle on North Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens, investigators said.
Stuart Police assisted Palm Beach Gardens Police and Florida Highway Patrol troops in scouring the area, according to the incident report.
The vehicle crashed into another vehicle and the men fled. Palm Beach County deputies located the abandoned vehicle at Prosperity Farms Road and Lighthouse Drive.
The men escaped and were not arrested, police said Wednesday.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Joseph Calderone at 772-220-3943 or email email@example.com or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477.
Mauricio La Plante is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm focusing on Martin County. Follow him on Twitter @mslaplantenews or email him at Mauricio.LaPlante@tcpalm.com.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Carjacked to Stuart; police chase through 2 counties