ST. PETERSBURG – A St. Petersburg man was arrested Feb. 20 after shooting into a vehicle occupied by his mother and father, injuring his mother who drove herself to a local hospital.
Eric James Garcia, 22, was arrested at 66th and Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
According to deputies, that Thursday evening, Renee Garcia, 62, of Pinellas Park and her husband Luis Garcia, 59, called police and then went to try to look for their son, who had allegedly burglarized their two homes earlier in the week. One home is in Hernando County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, which was also set on fire, and the other home is in Pinellas Park Police Department’s jurisdiction.
The parents located their son in the area of Sunrise Drive and Bryan Dairy in Largo at which point the son began to pursue them in his vehicle. Deputies said when the vehicles reached the vicinity of Bryan Dairy Road and 98th Street, the son fired a shot into the vehicle, injuring his mom, who was driving, in the face.
Deputies said the mother continued to drive and transported herself to Largo Medical for treatment. Her injuries were characterized as non-life threatening.
Deputies responded to the call and a BOLO (be on the lookout) was issued for the son’s vehicle. While at the hospital, the father received a call from the son. Deputies said the son made threatening statements to his dad.
The suspect’s vehicle was later spotted by Indian Shores Police Department traveling recklessly at a high rate of speed. Indian Shores PD communicated the information via radio and all beach law enforcement agencies, which are on the same radio frequency, were able to converge and assist in the apprehension of the suspect.
Treasure Island Police Department initiated pursuit of the suspect in the area of 107th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard, deputies responded and deployed stop sticks. Garcia was arrested without further incident at about 66th Street and Central Avenue. No injuries or damage to property was reported.
Garcia was arrested for two counts attempted murder, two counts aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, two counts firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle, person engaged in criminal offense having a weapon, felony threat via electronic communication and possession of marijuana. Additional charges have been place by Treasure Island PD, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Pinellas Park Police Department.