DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A judge on Tuesday set bond at $65,000 for a man police said tried to rob an ice cream shop in Daytona Beach and then carjacked a father and son.
Investigators said Johnny Quatto forced the father to be his getaway driver but after the father escaped, Quatto crashed the car into a tree while trying to outrun police.
The ice cream shop store owner told Channel 9's Steve Barrett how he tried to keep the alleged thief from getting away before police arrived.
According to Daytona police, Quatto climbed out of an Mason Avenue ice cream store he'd just robbed not knowing Jeff Brunner had triggered a silent alarm that alerted police.
"I said, 'I don't think anybody's going to end somebody's life over a hundred bucks,'" said Brunner. "I said,
'As long as I stay calm and I drag this out, keep it going as long as I can, police show up, I should be able to walk away here today.'"
Quatto is seen in surveillance climbing in and out of the store with a gun that turned out to be a pellet gun which resembled a Glock 9mm pistol, police said.
Investigators said Quatto then targeted Matthew Taylor and his son across the street where he forced them into their car. Quatto allowed the child to exit the car but forced Taylor to be his getaway driver.
"The bad guy runs up, points a gun and threatens to kill both if he didn't get in the car," Chitwood said.
"I said, 'My son in the front seat, he needs to get out,'" said Taylor. "'Let him out and I'll drive wherever you want to go.'"
As Taylor sped away with Quatto in the car, police weren’t far behind. At one point, Taylor was able to pull his emergency brake and jump out, too.
Quatto took the wheel, speeding away as fast as 100 mph, authorities said. A short time later, he wrapped the Honda around a tree blocks away on Vine Street.
When police caught up to the vehicle, Quatto was stuck inside with significant injuries. Authorities stabilized him until he was extracted from the car and taken to Halifax Hospital, where he was released a few hours later and taken to the Volusia County Jail.
Taylor said he's just fortunate he and his son got out of the car before the crash.
"Either one of us could have been killed," Taylor said.