WEST PALM BEACH, FL--What began as a carjacking Thursday night turned into a police chase with a fiery ending Friday morning.
"Approximately 11:30 last night we had a citizen that was carjacked. And his vehicle was taken by force, he was hit over the head with a blunt object," said Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesman Eric Davis.
According to Boynton Beach Police a dark blue Honda Civic on Seacrest Boulevard caught Officer Stephen Maiorino's eye Friday morning because he recognized the driver and knew that he was driving with a suspended license. There was a second person in the car as well.
The tag came back as stolen and a pursuit began. It ended miles later on Forest Court in West Palm Beach.
"The suspect vehicle, which was stolen, ended up hitting a tree of some sort. The officer that was in pursuit was right behind him," Davis said.
Both vehicles caught fire, but the sequence of events is not clear.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office initially said Officer Mairorino rescued one suspect who was still inside the car after the fire began.
Boynton Police later said the officer was taking the driver into custody when his patrol car caught fire.
Boynton Beach Police say the hot undercarriages of the cars sparked dry grass to catch fire and it spread to the cars.
A stolen handgun was found near the burning vehicles.
In the meantime the second suspect ran from the scene.
"The citizens, postal service worker, citizens in the neighborhood gave us descriptions," Davis said.
The second suspect was found a short time later and arrested by the West Palm Beach Police Department.
Nearby Forest Hill High School was locked down for a time.
Police have identified the driver as 22 year old Ivan Johnson. His passenger is 18 year old Patrick McIntosh. Both are from Boynton Beach.
Both complained of neck and back pain and were transported to Bethesda Memorial Hospital. Officer Maiorino sustained injuries to his right hand.
Johnson and McIntosh face several charges including fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest and possession of a stolen firearm.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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