FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jonathan Semerene thought he could leave his car running in the parking lot of a kava bar on East Las Olas Boulevard while he quickly ran in to pick up a drink. But, around 11:16 p.m. on Saturday, as he was paying, he looked out the window and saw a woman backing out of Kavasutra Kava Bar in his orange BMW.
That’s when Semerene, 25, made the decision to run out of the store and jump onto the hood of the car to stop the driver.
Surveillance video shows a woman walk up to the car, get in and reverse out of the parking lot.
People on balconies took cell phone video believing it was a joke, or perhaps a fight between a couple, as they saw a man riding on the hood of the BMW down Las Olas Boulevard. But it was no joke.
Semerene spoke to Local 10 News with a play-by-play of some frightening events.
He said he stayed on top of the hood for about a quarter of a mile remembering that the woman wasn’t driving fast, but she was swerving in an attempt to get him to fall off of the car.
When the woman’s accomplice pulled up, that’s when things got even scarier, he said.
“He drew his weapon and told me to get off the hood of the vehicle, which I did at that point because that was a battle I wasn’t going to win,” Semerene said.
After he got off the car, he said he called 911 while the suspects fled in two vehicles, one being his BMW. At some point, the woman and her accomplice must have swapped cars, he said.
Police apprehended a man driving the BMW after they chased the car south into Miami-Dade County.
“When it came to being a life and death situation, I chose life and jumped off the hood of the vehicle and they went their ways and I went mine. I’m here today, so I’ guess I’m pretty lucky,” he said.
Fort Lauderdale Police confirmed to Local 10 News that they worked a robbery case at an East Las Olas Boulevard location Saturday night and said they were able to take one person into custody with no incident in Miami-Dade County.
Semerene will be getting his car back with about $5,000 worth of damage. He said it was a lesson learned —he won’t leave his car running again, even for a quick errand.
At last check, the woman who first took the BMW was still at large.