May 12--The carjacking suspect was armed, but it was his frozen drink and its distinctive cup that led detectives to arrest him, police say.
A driver was on a cellphone call inside his 2012 BMW 528i sedan at the Hamptons on Heron Bay apartments in Coral Springs at lunchtime on April 18 when he was approached by 17-year-old Bernell Travaughn Hegwood, according to police.
Hegwood, of Lauderhill, held an orange-colored, frozen Slurpee-like drink called a Frazil in one hand and knocked on the driver's window with the other, Coral Springs police said.
"The first victim was an incredible witness," Detective Ernesto Bruna said Thursday. "He was able to describe the cup in great detail."
Bruna said Detective Brian Koenig and Detective Dave Young took the driver's description of the clear plastic cup -- with blue lettering, orange contents, an orange or yellow straw and a logo design with circles -- to the nearest convenience store, a Shell gas station at 5966 Coral Ridge Drive.
It was their first stop, and they found the store sold Frazil cups. The driver identified the cup and a check of surveillance footage showed Hegwood inside the store, buying the drink and walking toward the Hamptons on Heron Bay complex, according to an arrest report.
During the attempted carjacking, the driver had shooed Hegwood away when he first approached. But moments later the teen came back, this time holding a black and blue handgun, according to an arrest report.
The driver put his car in reverse and got away while calling 911. Three minutes later, police say a woman in a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 sedan left a nearby Walmart and stopped at the intersection of 6101 Coral Ridge Drive and Holmberg Road.
Hegwood ran into the front of her car and got inside, telling her she hit him and to take him to a hospital, an arrest report said.
The woman told him the Mercedes didn't strike him and warned that she'd call police. But Hegwood pulled a handgun from his waistband and demanded she get out. She did, and police said Hegwood drove off in the luxury car.
Both drivers confirmed that Hegwood was the person who approached their cars, according to investigators.
On April 20, Fort Lauderdale police arrested Hegwood as he ran from a stolen vehicle that had a black and teal handgun inside. That agency recognized the teen from a "be on the lookout" alert issued by Coral Springs Police.
During interviews at the Fort Lauderdale police station, Hegwood told a Coral Springs detective the gas station photos were of him, he had shown the gun to both drivers and confessed to carjacking one driver and trying to take the other motorist's car, his arrest report said.
The Broward state attorney's office has charged Hegwood as an adult. He is facing charges of carjacking with a firearm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
During Hegwood's magistrate hearing Wednesday, Judge Mardi Levey Cohen ordered him held without bond in a Broward County jail.
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