VIDEO: Hit And Run Driver Tries To Flee, So Witness Breaks Out Hammer
Miami, FL – A Good Samaritan with a sledgehammer tried his best to stop a convicted felon fleeing from a four-car hit and run on Sunday (video below).
Police said that 25-year-old Maxwell Lagutenko was going north on Biscayne Boulevard in a silver Infiniti SUV around 2:30 p.m. on March 11, when he crossed the median and hit one southbound car at the intersection with Northeast 34th Street.
Lagutenko kept going north in the southbound lanes and crashed into two more cars at the major Northeast 36th Street intersection, the Miami Herald reported.
At that point, people started jumping out of their cars to survey the damage, and passerby Monika Ramirez began filming a video of the scene which she posted to Facebook.
In the video, the Lagutenko tried to back his silver SUV out of the collision to escape, but other drivers approached his car and tried to open the doors, and banged on the windows.
Lagutenko wiggled his car back and forth, almost running over several different people, including a couple of elderly people, the video showed.
Other cars pulled close in an attempt to block the silver SUV’s escape, but he was able to shoot through and go around a corner, where a black SUV was blocking its path of escape.
The victims of his hit and run chased the SUV around the corner and caught up with it, and continued to pound on the windows without success, the video showed.
At that point, the driver of a white van jumped out with a sledgehammer to assist Lagutenko’s victims.
The video showed the man as he smashed in Lagutenko’s windows with the sledgehammer, first on the driver’s side – then on the back window – then on the passenger side, as the car continued to escape.
Despite best efforts by the sledgehammer-wielding Good Samaritan, smashing all of the car windows didn't render the vehicle inoperable.
Lagutenko managed to squeak between cars and get away.
The van driver with the sledgehammer was not arrested or ticketed, the Miami Herald reported.
Miami police attempted to pursue the silver SUV, but had to cut off the chase in accordance with department policy on non-violent crimes.
Despite getting away at that moment, Lagutenko was in police custody a short while later. Information as to how the arrest occurred was unclear, according to the Miami Herald.
He was brought back to the scene of the crash and was identified by witnesses, police said. The arrest report said he appeared to “be high on narcotics.”
Lagutenko had prior convictions for delivering oxycodone, possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine, possession of a controlled substance, and violating a restraining order, police said.
He remained in Miami-Dade County jail on Monday afternoon, held on a $5,000 bond.
Lagutenko was charged with fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
The traffic citations are his 19th and 20th moving violations in Miami-Dade County in the last eight years, the Miami Herald reported.
His traffic court record showed that he was found guilty 11 times and had paid $2,387 in fines. He had nine additional tickets in Broward County, but was only convicted on a failure to wear a seatbelt charge in that county.
Violations ranged from running a red light to driving on the wrong side of the road.
You can see the video of the encounter below: