Police chase, stop stolen Amazon Prime van on I-95
Jacksonville officer intentionally hits van, which overturns on highway
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than an hour after a police officer met with an Amazon Prime driver who reported his work truck stolen at gunpoint, that delivery truck was lying on its side in the middle of Interstate 95 and a man was in custody facing seven charges.
About 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sky 4 showed the crash of the van blocking two southbound lanes of I-95 one mile north of Dunn Avenue. Several Jacksonville Sheriff's Office vehicles were on scene, but police hadn't reported anything other than police activity.
Police reports tell of the quick response and drama that stopped the stolen delivery truck before it got far.
Driver Antonio Cintron called police at 3:41 p.m., telling officers when he returned to the vehicle after making a delivery on Sydney Street in Avondale, the man was in the driver's seat of the van.
"He started saying he was God. He was a Freemason. He’s taking the vehicle," Cintron said. "He pulled out his gun and I kind of just backed up."
Cintron last saw the van headed north on McDuff Avenue. Home surveillance video captured the van taking off. Police put out an alert on the radio and almost immediately Officer Kristy Monroe saw the vehicle northbound on I-95 exiting onto Airport Road.
Monroe (pictured, left) followed the van, clocked it at 70 mph on the surface road and saw it running at least one red light. She was worried someone was going to get hurt.
"I wanted to make sure (he) didn’t hurt anyone else (so) I got behind him just to follow and see where he was going," Monroe said. "I think he realized I was behind him and that’s when everything broke loose."
The van got back on I-95 headed south. Within a mile, Monroe conducted a PIT maneuver with her cruiser, causing the van to flip over on its side. The driver was able to crawl out of the van unhurt and was immediately taken into custody.
When asked for his identity, the man said he was God. He was later identified as John MacDonell, 32 (pictured, right).
MacDonell is charged with carjacking, reckless driving fleeing or eluding an officer, resisting an officer without violence, two counts of failure to obey a traffic control device and driving with a suspended license. MacDonell appeared before a judge Wednesday morning and was ordered held on $397,515 bond.
An Amazon spokesperson sent News4Jax the following statement:
We’re thankful the delivery driver is safe and we’ll work with the delivery service partner and law enforcement as they investigate.”
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