Within minutes of a reported carjacking on Monday morning, police officer ran down a fleeing suspect and took him into custody.
Jacksonville Beach police said they were responding to a report of a battery in progress in the 4000 block of 3rd Street South just before 9 a.m. when witnesses pointed to a suspect running away.
A 66-year-old woman told police she was attempting to get into her vehicle when a man approached, said he had a gun and demanded the keys to her vehicle. She said the robber began punching her in the head and face.
A 51-year-old woman saw the first victim being attacked and rushed to help when the robber punched her in the face, as well. A third woman, 63, who worked nearby, arriving to try to help was also attacked.
The first victim was transported to Mayo Clinic's emergency room, where she was treated for her injuries. The other two victims did into require medical treatment.
The victims positively identified the suspect as 55-year-old Donnie McClain. He was charged with carjacking, aggravated battery of a person over 65 and two counts of battery and booked into the Duval County jail.
"I'm appalled that it would happen I'm extra appalled that it would be out here at the beach. There are bad people everywhere I guess," said shopper Debarth Derryberry.
Shoppers we spoke with were also concerned that this happened in broad daylight. Channel 4 Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson says that's why you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
"What we have to get away from is this 'nothing ever happens here’ that mentality something can happen anywhere. Crime is everywhere," said Jefferson.