Driver fends off carjacking attempt in downtown Sarasota

Gavin Pearce
Gavin Pearce(SCSO)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A man sitting in his car in downtown Sarasota is recovering after being attacked by a man armed with a broken wine glass, police say.

Sarasota Police officers received a 911 call at about 5:30 p.m., Monday from a caller who witnessed a man grab two wine glasses from a table at the Salute restaurant, in the 1400 block of First Street. The man broke the glasses on the ground and walked to an Aston Martin convertible parked at the nearby Whole Foods store.

Police say the man, identified as Gavin Pearce, 30, of Bradenton, jumped in the car, and began attacking a 74-year-old man in the driver’s seat with the broken glass.

The driver later told police he believe his attacker was trying to steal his car, so he threw his keys out of the car and tried to fend off the attack.

The attacker broke off his assault and fled on a bicycle, the arrest report said.

When Sarasota Police officers arrived on the scene, they found the victim sitting in a chair on a sidewalk with several citizens rendering aid. The victim chose to drive himself to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

Officers found Pearce, who matched the description given by witnesses, a short time later near the intersection of Fifth Street and North Tamiami Trail. Pearce declined to speak with officers. He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a person over 65, and carjacking with a weapon.

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