The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office now has 32-year old John Paul Rashad Wannamaker of Fort Walton Beach in custody in connection with a carjacking in Mary Esther that led to the battery of an 81-year old Mary Esther resident.
The victim pulled into the parking lot of the Food World at 251 Mary Esther Cut-off around 7 a.m. July 6th to buy groceries.
The suspect, identified as Wannamaker by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, approached and asked him to help “jump” the dead battery in his car.
The victim agreed to help and took Wannamaker to the nearby McDonald’s.
Once there, however the suspect said his car had been towed and asked the victim to drive him to his home off Lovejoy Road. On the way, Wannamaker began demanding money.
The victim stopped on Dates Avenue and Wannamaker hit the 81- year old man during a struggle over the car keys.
Both got out of the car and Wannamaker continued to physically batter the victim before taking off in the victim’s car, a tan 2007 Ford Fusion. He then crashed the car into a tree approximately 200 yards away.
The victim was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center admitted for treatment of his injuries.
Wannamaker was taken into custody last night (September 21st) without incident after being called in as a suspicious person at the Electric Cowboy in Destin.
Okaloosa County deputies and a K-9 unit located and arrested Wannamaker on charges of carjacking, robbery by sudden snatching, aggravated battery on a person 65 or older, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, and not having a valid driver’s license.
Wannamaker is also charged with fraudulent use of a credit card. Investigators say shortly after the carjacking, he used the victim’s credit card to buy a $400 gift card at the Wal-Mart in Fort Walton Beach.