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Victim 'dragged for miles' in DeLand carjacking, 911 caller says

Friend says victim was trying to help suspect

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Joey Buttafuoco was holding on for dear life as a man he called a friend drove his stolen Chevrolet down Euclid Avenue in DeLand.

“There was just a car dragging another human being, he was holding on to the car and this driver’s dragging him and I mean he was hauling a— too,” a 911 caller who witnessed the incident said.

The carjacking started as a dispute at the Discount Market between the two men, who were once romantically involved and who had taken the drug Molly prior to the incident, according to the arrest report.

Buttafuoco told deputies that he was giving Justin Kaegael, 28, a ride, but then Kaegael got upset when the victim said he wouldn't drive Kaegael to Daytona Beach.

While Buttafuoco was putting a backpack into the trunk of his car, Kaegael got into the driver’s seat.

"When he was putting them in the trunk, he took control of the driver's seat and he put the keys in the ignition," Buttafuoco’s longtime friend, Beth, told News 6.

That's when the struggle began.

"Joey tried to fight him off and his hand got stuck underneath the driver's side seat. He dragged him with the door open for three or four blocks," said Beth, who asked that we not use her last name.

Buttafuoco told deputies Kaegael repeatedly punched him to try to knock him loose.

Several people who witnessed Buttafuoco being dragged down the street called 911, including the daughter of the owner of the next car Kaegael would take, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

"This man just got dragged for miles," a 911 caller said.

Another witness tried to help the victim. While she was on the phone with dispatchers, Kaegael carjacked her mother’s Jeep Compass and took off, she said.

“He just pushed me down to steal my momma’s car,” she said in the 911 call.

Kaegael drove the Jeep to Bellevue Avenue in Daytona Beach, where deputies watched him try to steal yet another vehicle, authorities said.

"He backs into a berm and a ditch. He then puts the car in forward, the car lunges towards deputies, deputies open fire," said Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

Two deputies fired at least 10 shots, said Chitwood, hitting Kaegael four times including in the neck. He is expected to recover.

As for Buttafuoco, Beth said he's back home from the emergency room, suffering from serious road rash.

"His heart and his ego were hurt more than anything else," she said.


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