PALM CITY, Fla. — Martin County deputies say a mother desperately tried to fight off a carjacker with her infant just a few feet away at a Treasure Coast gas station, and now the suspect is behind bars.
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"Our information leads us to be pretty confident that he did this solely to get transportation back to Miami," said Martin County Sheriff William J. Snyder.
That’s what authorities believe was behind a chilling attack that was captured on surveillance video.
21-year-old Jaquay Marlon Jean is accused of violently carjacking a family of four who had stopped at a Mobil gas station on State Road 714 in Palm City on Sunday after returning from Walt Disney World in Orlando.
According to an incident report, the video shows a struggle between 42-year-old Jaime Sagona and Jean before he takes off with the Sagona’s 5-month-old baby and her mother, 66-year-old Joanne Sagona.
During the struggle, Jaime Sagona was knocked to the ground and dragged several feet, suffering minor injuries to her hand and forearm.
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Investigators said Jean dropped off the baby and his grandmother about a mile down the road before fleeing south.
"We do understand that car was in a high-speed chase yesterday, triple-digit, way over 100 miles per hour, with Miami-Dade police in heavy traffic," Sheriff Snyder said. "But we don’t know if he was driving that car. That’s still being investigated."
Detectives from Martin County, Miami-Dade County, and the U.S. Marshals worked through the night to identify the location of Jean in North Miami where he was apprehended after leaving a home and driving a different vehicle.
"They used what we call a high profile stop," Sheriff Snyder added.
Back in Martin County, Jean had little to our WPTV news crew while in handcuffs.
"I’m sorry," Jean said.
Jean went before a judge on Tuesday afternoon on charges of carjacking with a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping. He's now being held on a $400,000 bond.