Venice brunt and carjacking suspect now in custody
- Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
UPDATE: The City of Venice reported on Thursday night that the police department has a suspect in custody.
“VPD Crime Scene technicians recovered fingerprints belonging to Ralph M. Forte (DOB 09/14/1963) from one of the vehicles the suspect attempted to carjack,” according to an update sent to ABC7.
“Additionally, investigators were able to obtain access to the surveillance camera footage located within the business, eighty eight Spa Rubdown, permitting investigators to view Forte at the scene of the crime.”
Investigators say Forte “fully confessed” to committing the crimes. He is now in the custody of Venice Police, and charges are pending as the investigation proceeds.
The city says that the victim, who worked at the rubdown business, underwent successful surgery for her head injuries and is recovering.
SARASOTA Co., Fla. (WWSB) – An unidentified man on Wednesday night attempted numerous carjackings in Venice and injured two people, one critically.
Police Chief Tom Mattmuller said on Thursday afternoon he thinks the suspect is no longer in the area and does not pose a threat to the community.
This is the sequence of events police report:
Police responded to a call at 7:55 p.m. Wednesday in the Publix parking lot on South Tamiami Trail and found a woman who was gravely injured. The victim is presently in critical condition at an area hospital.
The suspect, who remains at large, attempted to forcibly come in a pickup truck that was stopped in the roadway near eighty eight Spa Rubdown at six hundred seventeen South Tamiami Trail.
The driver of the pickup sped away and as he approached Publix, observed the suspect in the bed of his truck. The hit the brakes, causing the suspect to be ejected from the truck.
The suspect then committed another attempted carjacking where he demanded keys from a Publix employee, claiming he was armed with a knife. During the confrontation, the 2nd victim was battered by the suspect, who then fled the area on foot.
The suspect was last seen running near Publix, fleeing south behind the Elephants Trunk Thrift Store.
He has been described as a white masculine wearing a crimson T-shirt, possibly in his 30s.
Nearby schools were under a limited lockdown early Thursday while police conducted their search. A robocall was sent to parents. the lockdown was lifted shortly after noon.
As more information becomes available we will proceed to provide updates.