Paraplegic man Shamal Battice steals car and is chased by Florida police across three counties

The man was found trying to re-fill the car's petrol tank over 90km away from where he allegedly took it

Click to follow
The Independent US

A paraplegic man in the US state of Florida made away with a vehicle from a car show room, and was chased by police across three state-counties.

Shamal Battice told the salesman, Anselmo “Chico” Barreto, at the Ford dealership in the city of Ocala that he wanted to ditch his wheelchair for a quicker mode of transport, the Ocala Star Banner newspaper reported.

Mr Barreto showed Mr Battice a white 2009 Ponitac G6, and helped Mr Battice get into the car so he could feel the seats.

Sat in the car, Mr Battice then locked the doors, put the key in the ignition, and drove out of the car park using a folding cane to hold down the gas pedal.

“It was unbelievable, only in the movies,” Barreto, who has worked at the dealership for 11 years, told the Miami New Times.

Both the Ocala Police Department, and nearby Marion County Sheriff’s Office were alerted that Mr Battice had made off in the car.

They pursued him, but abandoned the chase at the Alachua-Marion County line where Alachua officials carried on the hunt. But they too decided to end their chase.

Mr Battice was finally spotted at a petrol station attempting to re-fill the car when he was arrested by Bradford County sheriff, almost 98 kilometres (60 miles) away from the dealership in Ocala.

He was charged with driving while having a suspended or revoked license, and faces a possible charge of grand theft auto form law enforcement officials.

See below, Florida during January's Polar vortex: