BRADENTON BEACH & LONGBOAT KEY- A Florida man became the suspect of two investigations on the Suncoast after police say he pulled off a carjacking and caused a multi–vehicle crash.
Two investigations conducted by Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach Police Departments led to the arrest of one suspect Wednesday.
Detective Sergeant Lenard Diaz of Bradenton Beach Police Department said, “Between quarter to 12, 12:00 in the afternoon, we had a male by the name of Rick Rowland, he’s known around here, confront a gentleman in the Coquina Park.”
Authorities say Rowland hit the victim and demanded his car keys.
Sgt. Diaz said, “And when he refused, the white male took the keys from his hand forcibly striking him a few more times and jumped in his car.”
Rowland allegedly then ran over the victim’s foot and fled southbound.
“We’re pretty sure he passed a few cars, which caused the other cars to stop, break and caused a chain -eaction to where approximately 4 to 5 cars were involved in a crash,” Sgt. Diaz said.
Diaz said Rowland then crashed into the southwest side of the bridge.
He said, “From what I understand, there were some people there that held him there until law enforcement arrived.”
A Longboat Key officer on scene told SNN 5 to 7 victims were transported to Blake Medical Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
“No serious injuries as far as we know,” he said.
Sgt. Diaz said Rowland was treated for minor injuries at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
“He was checked out and we sent an officer over to pick him up and he is going to be arrested,” he said.
The Longboat Key Police Department’s investigation is ongoing.