ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Sheriff's Office has arrested two men in connection to an armed robbery and kidnapping that ended in a crash in Altamonte Springs.
Deputies said they arrested Lashon Carden, 18, and Sheldon Richards, 17, on Thursday. Both are charged with armed kidnapping and robbery with a firearm. Carden was also charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement.
Investigators said that at 2:16 p.m. Thursday, a witness reported a woman being forced into a vehicle in the 1000 block of Lee Road. Officers spotted the vehicle moments later as it entered westbound I-4.
Deputies said when the vehicle exited on Fairbanks Avenue, the woman safely exited the four-door white sedan. Detectives said the woman told them that she got in the car voluntarily but was then held at gunpoint when the suspects demanded money from her.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the Carden, the driver, and Richards got back on I-4, this time heading east, where the vehicle exited at State Road 436 in Altamonte Springs as deputies continued to pursue them.
Deputies said the Carden's vehicle hit another car before coming to a stop at 850 E. Altamonte Dr. The two suspects then both attempted to flee inside an office building.
Christian Puertas, an employee at the office building, said one of the suspects barricaded himself inside a first-floor restroom for almost an hour.
"All of a sudden while I'm on the phone with a customer, I hear a big loud screeching and crash," Puertas said. "He holed up in the bathroom, and that's when you see another guy just run through our floor and about three cops just running right behind him."
Investigators said a pistol and an AR-15 were found inside the suspect's vehicle.
"It was kind of like an hour where we didn't know what was happening. All of a sudden, you see the guy being dragged out in handcuffs into the road," Puertas said.
No serious injuries were reported. Both suspects were booked into the Seminole County Jail.