Suspect arrested for carjacking couple’s vehicle in Tarpon Springs, police say

A Clearwater man is facing charges on New Year’s Eve after allegedly carjacking a couple’s vehicle on Wednesday.

Around 2:08 p.m., Tarpon Springs police arrived at the scene in the 600 block of Athens Street. The couple parked a 2011 Lexus vehicle on the street and the driver exited to "patronize a business," officials said.

Investigators said he left the vehicle running with his spouse inside, seated in the front passenger seat.

Then, police said the suspect, 27-year-old Lorenzo Butler, opened the unlocked driver’s side door, entered and used his foot to kick the victim’s spouse out of the vehicle. When out of the vehicle, the spouse began yelling for help.

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Police said the victim had minor injuries.

Butler fled with the stolen vehicle and a BOLO was issued, police said. Pasco County deputies spotted the vehicle heading north on U.S. Highway 19 near Country Club Drive in Hudson about 25 minutes after the carjacking was reported. 

A traffic stop was initiated and  Butler was arrested. He faces charges of battery on a person 65 years or older and carjacking.