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Subject Police Say Boy, 16, Charged With Carjacking Is 3rd-Grader
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Police Say Boy, 16, Charged With Carjacking Is 3rd-Grader

By STEPHEN THOMPSON of The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 14, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG - Police chased a car Thursday night, hours after two people stole it from a 60-year-old man who had just pulled into his driveway, authorities said.

Maurice Gant, 16, and Dealtae Franklin, 16, were arrested after the chase, said St. Petersburg Police Department spokesman George Kajtsa.

Gant is identified in police reports as a third-grade student at Maximo Elementary School. He was charged with carjacking, possession of cocaine, attempted felony murder of a law enforcement officer and residential burglary, Kajtsa said.

Franklin is charged with residential burglary, Kajtsa said.

At 2:25 p.m. Thursday, the 60-year-old man pulled into his driveway in the 900 block of Live Oak Terrace Northeast in a 2007 Nissan Maxima, Kajtsa said. A car that is said to have been following him drove up on his lawn, Kajtsa said.

In it were Gant, who was driving, and Franklin, Kajtsa said. They asked for directions and then for water before they hit the man twice on the head, knocked him down and took his keys from his pocket, Kajtsa said.

A Pinellas County Sheriff's Office helicopter and St. Petersburg police found and tracked the Maxima before a pursuit was authorized, Kajtsa said. Gant rammed a police cruiser during the pursuit, which led to the attempted felony murder charge, Kajtsa said.

The Maxima eventually wrecked or stopped, and both youths were arrested after they were seen running into a house in the 4000 block of 13th Avenue South, Kajtsa said.
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