OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Caught on camera: dramatic smart phone video showing a young man pulling a gun after a fender bender.
That video proved powerful. Hours after deputies released it to the public asking for help, they got a tip from an unlikely source.
"Someone saw the news release in the media and alerted a family member of the suspect, sent them the link, and that family member called the Osceola County Sheriff's Office and gave information that led to the arrest," explained Captain Jacob Ruiz.
Investigators arrested 18-year-Carlos Luis Mercado early Wednesday. Deputies say Mercado and the other driver had the fender bender around 6 o'clock Monday night.
"The victim of the crash thought the other car was going to stop, realized he wasn't going to stop, so the victim of the crash followed him to get a good picture of his tag to give to law enforcement. That's why the suspect stopped, realizing he followed him, and he stepped out with a handgun in his hand pretty much saying don't follow me," said Captain Ruiz.
Deputies say they ran the suspect's tag number, discovering the black Hyundai driven by Mercado had been stolen back on March 11. When investigators showed up at Mercado's home late Tuesday to question him about the gun incident, they say that black Hyundai was parked out in front of Mercado's mother's apartment.
According to investigators, Mercado told deputies the black sedan belonged to a friend and he had been driving it for two weeks. Deputies said Mercado had the keys to the car and told investigators they would find his clothes and his BB gun inside.
Investigators have not yet said whether the pistol was a real gun, or a bb gun, but say the charge for it would still be the same. So far, Mercado has been charged with grand theft auto for stealing the car. Deputies said they expect to be adding aggravated assault charges for the gun incident within the next few days.