St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies, Fort Pierce police investigate carjacking, abduction, sexual battery to Fort Pierce woman, according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara
A Wednesday night abduction, sexual battery and carjacking are under investigation today by the Fort Pierce Police Department and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
"Both the Fort Pierce Police Department and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office have detailed additional officers to to northern Fort Pierce this summer as we have in years past," Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said. "Working together as a team, the two agencies were able to quickly apprehend the two suspects. This validates the usefulness of the summer concentrated law enforcement detail. It sends a message to criminals that the Fort Pierce Police Department and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office will quickly respond to crime in northern Fort Pierce and make arrests whenever possible.
"The investigation determined that the abduction and carjacking occurred in the City of Fort Pierce, and the sexual attack on the female victim took place in the unincorporated area of St. Lucie County," Sheriff Mascara said. "Therefore, the Sheriff's Office is investigating the sexual attack, while the Fort Pierce Police Department is investigating the carjacking and abduction. Both agencies took part in the pursuit and apprehension of the two male suspects."
The two men were arrested in southern Indian River County and were taken to the Indian River County jail. Both had county court appearances this morning in Indian River County. They are:
- Derrick Antonio Bynum, 18 (DOB 10/11/93), of 1485 21st Avenue, SW, Vero Beach, charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, felony battery on a law officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and
- Todd Stephens, 24 (DOB 2/14/88), of 663 Fifth Street, SW, Vero Beach, charged with resisting arrest without violence, use or display of a weapon during the commission of a felony.
They are expected to be brought today to St. Lucie County for additional questioning. St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives have interviewed the female victim.
The incident began Wednesday night when Fort Pierce Police officers were sent to the 2500 block of Wilkins Avenue to investigate a possible carjacking and abduction in which two males stole a white sport utility vehicle at gunpoint, kidnapping the car's owner.
Fort Pierce police and St. Lucie County deputies began looking for the stolen vehicle, and an undercover deputy spotted the S.U.V. a few blocks away. Additional deputies and police officers were dispatched, and a deputy and Fort Pierce Police Officer Demetrius Owens tried to stop the suspects in the 2800 block of Avenue L. As the two officers approached the stolen S.U.V., the driver backed up and rammed the deputy's vehicle, then drove away.
The Sheriff's helicopter was sent to the area and a deputy in the helicopter spotted the stolen vehicle and assisted ground units in following and eventually apprehending the suspects.
An undercover St. Lucie County detective was almost able to stop the suspects on Oslo Road in southern Indian River County, but the suspects got away. They continued eluding officers, nearly hitting an Indian River County deputy trying to stop them.
The suspects turned onto Old Dixie Highway into a residential area, still in Indian River County, then jumped out of the stolen vehicle just north of the St. Lucie County line. Deputies and officers took the two suspects into custody, and then took them to the Indian River County jail.
Both the Fort Pierce Police Department and the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office are continuing the investigation today, and more charges by both agencies are likely.
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