JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Three Jacksonville Beach teenagers are facing felony charges for their involvement in a violent carjacking and kidnapping during the Springing the Blues Festival earlier this month.
According to police, the teenagers brutally beat a 31-year-old man and forced him to withdraw money out of ATMs.
The man said he was asleep in the driver's seat of his car with his door open and his keys in the ignition when the teens approached him.
"They threatened my life several times and said, 'If you try anything, I will kill you,'" said the victim, who didn't want to be identified in fear of retaliation.
He said the teens forced him to drive to ATMs and give them the money.
"If I said anything, they hit me," the man said. "At one point along the way, I asked, 'What are you guys doing? The driver was running the whole show and popped me in the face.'"
"All throughout the incident, each time they would try to talk to him and ask him questions they would strike him several times," said Sgt. Tommy Crumley.
Jacksonville Beach police said the first money machine they went to on Beach Boulevard wasn't working, so the teens forced the victim to a Walmart parking lot, continuing to punch him in the face. The man said he was in fear for his life.
"I had no idea what their plan was for me, so I had to make sure my exit plan was on line," he said.
The victim saw his opportunity to get out of the car at the Walmart on Beach and ran into the store.
The teenagers, two age 14 and one age 15, sped away in the stolen car and abandoned it on Merrill Road in Arlington, according to police.
The victim said the entire ordeal has shattered his sense of security.
"I have two locks on my front door," he said. "I sleep with my pistol loaded and closer to me in the bedroom than I used to."
Police said the suspects used the victim's debit card at a Walmast store and were later identified by surveillance video in the store, leading to their arrest.