DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — A traffic stop in Florida escalated into a full-on hostage situation that was caught on camera.
Authorities say the driver was held at gunpoint as the passenger, a friend of his, forced him to lead deputies on a chase.
Deputies in Volusia County said it happened after they stopped at a red light. One of the deputies noticed a Mercury Grand Marquis and driver who had gotten away from them a few days before. A deputy on a motorcycle was also at the light.
Deputies followed the car and saw the passenger leaning back to grab a handgun from his waistband.
One of the deputies pulled his handgun as the suspect’s car started swerving. Then, the car pulled over and the deputies noticed a commotion inside.
“He just took him by force,” said one of the deputies in the video.
Sean “Sticks” Larkin from “Live PD” joined NewsNation Now’s Dan Abrams to break down the video.
“You go from potentially two suspects in the car to one, you know, (a) hostage with a suspect and that changes the way you’re going to pursue what you’re going to be able to do,” Larkin said. “It makes a priority to get this guy in custody, get that passenger in custody and ensure that driver is safe. Very fortunate that’s how it turned out.”
The driver later said his passenger, 18-year-old Davion Smith, jumped on him and hit the gas pedal while pointing the gun at his head.
Smith ran off in a parking lot. Deputies caught him near a fence at a storage complex; they also found a stolen handgun at the scene and two baggies of heroin in the car.
“What they (deputies) did really was with communication on the radio they communicated to the motorcycle officer who was unaware of what was going on at that time,” Larkin said.
Larkin also said the deputies did a good job of following their instincts after seeing the strange behavior in the car.
Smith was charged with multiple counts, including kidnapping, carjacking, drug possession, and fleeing from law enforcement. The sheriff’s department said he has a lengthy list of juvenile arrests, including burglary, aggravated assault, and inciting a riot at a juvenile detention facility.