Shamal Battice can really book it. Through three Florida counties. With no feeling below the waist and a cane on the gas pedal of a stolen G6. Too bad he didn't go for a more fuel-efficient model, though.
Battice, a 28-year-old paraplegic, rolled into an Ocala Ford dealership in his wheelchair and asked salesman Anselmo "Chico" Barreto to see something fast. Barreto showed him the white 2009 Pontiac, according to the Miami New Times:
Battice said he wanted to feel the seats. He wanted to touch them. So Barreto let him.
Emboldened, Barreto said he wanted to see how the car felt. He wanted to sit inside. So, again, Barreto let him.
From there, a remarkable thing occurred. After Barreto assisted Battice into the car, the crippled man allegedly locked the door, slid the key into the ignition, and, brandishing a folding cane, pushed it onto the gas pedal and drove out of the lot. Just like that.
"It was unbelievable, only in the movies," Barreto—an 11-year veteran of the dealership—told the Ocala Star-Banner.
Battice sped out and was pursued by Marion County police until he hit the county line. Alachua County cops took over the pursuit, but "they tired of the chase and gave up when Battice crossed into Bradford County," New Times writes.
Battice might want to go for a hybrid next time. Bradford County police ultimately found him at a gas station, topping off the car's tank. He's under arrest for driving on a revoked or suspended license; cops are still trying to figure out if he'll face grand theft auto charges.
[Photo credit: Bradford County (Fla.) Sheriff]