Suspect arrested after carjacking, kidnapping South Florida family returning from Disney

Jaquay Jean faces felony charges in Martin County

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A man sought in connection with an armed carjacking that turned into a kidnapping was arrested Monday in North Miami.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said Jaquay Jean was taken into custody in North Miami after an extensive search.

Jean, 21, was wanted in connection with an armed carjacking that took place Sunday afternoon in Martin County. 

A family returning to South Florida after visiting Walt Disney World stopped at a Mobil gas station just off Florida's Turnpike at exit 133 in Martin County. That's when the suspect approached the family's car and pointed a gun at Joanne Sagona's daughter.

"The guy yanked her out of the car and was fighting with her and she did not want to go," Sagona told Local 10 News.

"I said, 'OK, please pull over. Stop. I will take the baby, get out and you can keep going,'" Joanne Sagona said she told the carjacking suspect.

Surveillance video shows a struggle ensued between the driver and the suspect, who was eventually able to drag the woman out of the car. Her brother got out of the car during the struggle.

The suspect then got in the driver's seat and drove away while Sagona and her 6-month-old grandchild were still in the car. 

"I was like, 'How do I survive?'" Sagona said. "I said, 'OK, please pull over. Stop. I will take the baby, get out and you can keep going.'"

Jean drove the car a short distance away to another gas station, where he let Sagona and the baby go, Snyder said. Sagona then called 911.

A massive investigation was immediately launched by the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

Jaquay Jean was taken into custody in North Miami.

The investigation led detectives to Miami-Dade County, where the suspect was identified and apprehended.

"You can recover from that," Sagona said of her experience. "You don't recover from a gunshot right in the face, 2 inches away. So we got lucky."

Snyder said the car that was stolen was involved in a high-speed chase Sunday in Miami-Dade County, but it's not known if Jean was driving the car.

Jean was brought back to Martin County and is facing a bond of $400,000 on felony charges of armed carjacking and armed kidnapping.

About the Authors: