DELTONA, Fla. - It’s hard to drive a stolen military Humvee from Sanford to Deltona with a cable and locked padlock on the steering wheel restricting your ability to turn, but Jose Quinones managed to do just that Wednesday night, authorities said.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Quinones, of Orlando, was also under the influence of marijuana as he dragged a construction barrel with sparks flying under the Humvee during his wild ride.
"The suspect hopped the fence, got in the humvee and was able to manuever it enough to crash through the gate and get out on the highway, and as far as I know, he got about 20 miles before he was pulled over by Volusia County," said Major Army Reserve Shawn Keller.
Witnesses called authorities shortly before 8 p.m. when they saw the Humvee swerving and running red lights without having any headlights on.
911 caller: "No headlights. He's ran over a couple of traffic cones. He's swerving."
Fortunately, no one was hurt during the joyride, but there were some close calls, authorities said.
A woman driving behind Quinones had to swerve suddenly when the barrel finally broke free and went flying toward her car.
"There were sparks flying out from underneath it and when he went across the light at Howland right over that dip, the barrel flew out from behind him," said one caller. "I was right behind him and I had to swerve."
Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies found the 19-year-old pulled over near the intersection of Laredo Drive and Courtland Boulevard. They said Quinones failed to obey deputies’ orders and slowly drove away but he was cuffed after stopping a short distance away.
Authorities said a marijuana cigarette was found in the Humvee.
Deputies said it took a little while to figure out where the Humvee came from, but Sanford police officers later found a heavily damaged fence at a U.S. Army Reserve facility and verified that’s where Quinones’ evening started.
He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on charges of grand theft, DUI, driving an unregistered vehicle and possession of marijuana.
Deputies said Quinones’ excuse for the evening adventure: He was bored, he said.
Army officials said the Humvees do not require keys, they have switches that start up the vehicle.