Minor Fender-Bender Leads to Murderous Rampage in Fla.
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LAKE HAMILTON, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested after allegedly going on a violent rampage after a minor fender-bender, slashing and stabbing the occupants of a car, then running over and killing a woman who had been riding in another nearby vehicle.
Casey Weldon Till, 26, of Haines City, faces murder and carjacking charges after the attacks involving family members traveling in two vehicles.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office tracked Till to his home through a pill bottle left at the scene late Sunday night. Police allege that he killed Odalis Cespedes, 41, by running her over twice. Till told police he was high on crack at the time.
The violence apparently unfolded after Till's minivan slammed into a stopped car being driven by Cespedes' daughter, 19-year-old Ivon Despaigne, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Angel Gonzalez, of Kissimmee. When the couple got out to check the damage, Till allegedly slashed Gonzalez's throat and stabbed Despaigne in the neck.
Investigators say Till then got into the couple's car and repeatedly rammed the vehicle ahead, occupied by Cespedes, her husband, 41-year-old Mario Despaigne, and their 6-month-old granddaughter.
The couple got their granddaughter out of the car seat and Cespedes was trying to flee with the baby in her arms when she was killed, Mario Despaigne said in an interview with The Ledger, which was conducted through an interpreter.
Mario Despaigne said Till drove over his wife's leg, then ran over her again after seeing she was still moving. Despaigne said he grabbed the baby. Then Gonzalez got into Till's van and hit him, then tried to back over him, but Till rolled out of the way, according to the arrest report.
Till then allegedly ran back to his van, ignoring commands to stop from a Lake Hamilton police officer who happened upon the scene. Till sped off, hitting officer David Hurst in the arm and midsection with the van's open door.
Till had locked himself in his bathroom and cut his wrists by the time investigators found him, the report said. He allegedly admitted the attacks to his wife and mother.
The police report listed Gonzalez and Ivon Despaigne in critical condition, but a local hospital would not provide information about their condition Tuesday.
Till was being held Tuesday in the Polk County Jail on charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, carjacking and improper exhibition of a weapon. It was not immediately known if Till had an attorney.
An armed response could have ended this quickly.