(TITUSVILLE, Fla.) — A Walmart manager went for a wild ride down a Florida highway in the back of a pickup truck after he tried to stop two people he suspected of stealing beer from the store.
Mike Dawson, a manager at the Titusville, Fla., store, saw a man and a woman leaving with a shopping cart containing about 25 cases of beer late Monday afternoon.
“I asked them for a receipt and they kept throwing beers into their car,” Dawson told ABC Orlando affiliate WFTV.
As Dawson approached the rear of the truck it began to back up, he said.
“I ran up to get their license plate, but when I realized how close I was, I jumped in the back so they didn’t run me over,” Dawson said.
The pickup truck, which Dawson describes as a blue Nissan or Toyota took off, traveling down several streets at high speed and onto the interstate.
Stuck in the bed of the truck, Dawson used what he could to try to get help, and used the stolen cans of Budweiser and Bud Light to attract attention.
“I kept throwing beers from the back of the truck, not at people’s cars but towards cars, hoping that someone would call the police,” Dawson told WFTV.
Dawson said the suspects stopped the vehicle twice.
“One time they tried to beat me up. I fought with them and lost my glasses. The second time was in the backwoods somewhere. I’m like not getting out for you to run me over,” said Dawson.
Motorist Dave Stewart noticed something was up and followed the truck in his car until it had pulled over on a side road in the Canaveral Groves area.
“Well, I just saw all the beers alongside the road,” Stewart told WFTV, who was armed with a gun as he approached the truck on foot. “The gentleman in the back got out, and as soon as he did, the other guy jumps into the pickup truck and just leaves.”
Police are looking for the two suspects. The male suspect had a tattoo on his chest that Dawson described as either 1987 or 1988.
Police said they were glad that Dawson was not injured.
“Thankfully he came out of this incident unscathed and has a great story to tell,” Tom Barry, a spokesman for the Titusville Police told ABC News.
Barry said the couple might the same people suspected of stealing beer from a Walmart in Palm Bay, Fla.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Aaron Smith, CNN
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Christine Brennan, Tim Hume and Jill Martin, CNN