Police: Man pulls gun on motorist, tries to steal big rig

February 17, 2022 GMT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A man armed with a gun jumped on the hood of a woman’s car on Interstate 75 in Florida before trying to drive off in a tractor trailer when the driver stopped to offer help, officials said

The incident unfolded Wednesday night along Interstate 75 near Tampa and ended with the man’s arrest, the Florida Highway Patrol said Thursday in a news release.

The 43-year-old man stopped his GMC Sierra on the interstate, and it was struck by a passing SUV. Troopers said he then walked into the path of another SUV. When that driver stopped to avoid hitting him, he pulled a gun and jumped onto the hood.

Another driver distracted him, and the woman was able to safely drive away, troopers said.

At some point during the incident, the man also fired shots into the interstate. Investigators later recovered shell casings.

A 62-year-old truck driver stopped to offer help, but the younger man climbed into the truck and tried to drive away, troopers said. He couldn’t get the truck in gear or release the air brakes.

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The truck driver and a 38-year-old man from South Dakota who had also stopped to help tried to get the man out of the truck, but he kicked both in the face and chest. By this time, sheriff’s deputies from Hillsborough and Manatee counties had arrived and were able to detain the man.

The man taken to jail and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking, armed carjacking, improper exhibition of a firearm and discharging a firearm in public, troopers said.

Troopers said they don’t know why the man stopped on the roadway.