One of two carjackers who stole a woman’s vehicle at gunpoint in South St. Paul and struck a police car was treating the chase with police like he was playing the video game “Grand Theft Auto,” according to charges.
Enrique L. Davila, 19, of Maplewood, and Miguel T. Rea, 27, of St. Paul, were charged Wednesday in Dakota County District Court with first-degree aggravated robbery in connection with the carjacking Saturday evening in the 400 block of Camber Avenue. Rea, suspected of being the driver, also was charged with fleeing police.
Both remain jailed, Rea in lieu of $150,000 bail and Davila in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Once he was caught and questioned, Davila largely blamed Rea, the charges read. Davila said it was Rea put the gun to the woman’s head and who drove with police in pursuit.
“When describing the chase,” the complaint read, “Davila stated Rea was treating [it] like a game [of] ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ ”
“Grand Theft Auto” is a popular video game series that at times includes police in pursuit of criminals.
According to the charges and police:
A woman told police that while she was parked outside a townhouse two men opened each front door and forced her out at gunpoint. One of them pointed a gun at her head and said, “Get the hell out,” the criminal complaint read.
Police from several agencies pursued the vehicle at a high speed “covering many miles” through Inver Grove Heights and St. Paul, at times on the wrong side of the road, until returning to South St. Paul.
The fleeing vehicle struck a South St. Paul squad car, kept going for a few more blocks before the two suspects jumped out and ran.
The suspects entered a residence back in the same block where they allegedly stole the car.
Officers surrounded the home and tried to persuade the two to surrender. Both were arrested within hours.
A search of the home turned up a pellet gun and clothing that matched what the victim said one of the suspects was wearing.
Both defendants have been approved for appointment of a public defender ahead of court appearances in the next few weeks.
Adding to Rea’s legal woes are charges also filed Wednesday that allege he was among suspects who shoplifted nearly $725 in items during three visits in September and another in December to the Target store in S. Robert Street in West St. Paul.