DESTIN, Fla., June 7, 2021—An Okaloosa Island carjacking suspect who ditched the stolen SUV in Destin was plucked out of the Gulf of Mexico about eight hours later after deputies responded to a couple of criminal mischief complaints June 6.
Donald Allan Douglass, 37, originally from Johnson City, Tenn., was charged with carjacking with a firearm, grand theft auto, resisting arrest with lights and siren, robbery with a firearm, criminal mischief and felony probation violation.
Two Santa Rosa county women reported their Gold Chevy Trailblazer was stolen by a man at the Tom Thumb on U.S. Hwy 98 on Okaloosa Island Sunday after he approached one of them around 11 a.m. and showed her a gun handle tucked in his pants.
He said he needed their car, took their cell phones and cash, but allowed one of the victims to get her toddler out of the vehicle before taking off in it.
An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted the stolen car and began pursuing it eastbound on Hwy 98 into Destin.
The deputy ended the chase due to the amount of traffic on the highway and the SUV disappeared from sight.
A Walton County deputy spotted the SUV a short while later on Scenic Highway 98 near the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Okaloosa County.
Spotting the deputy, the carjacker took off and ditched the SUV at a dead end on Kokomo Cove. An initial search for the suspect was unsuccessful.
Later that day around 6:40 p.m., OCSO deputies were called to the area of Sunfish Street and Scenic 98 in response to criminal mischief complaints involving a man using an outdoor shower.
They spotted Douglass as he ran toward the beach and into the Gulf.
Deputies waded into the surf and took Douglass into custody.
Douglass claimed the Milton women gave him permission to take their car.
The victims’ cellphones were found tossed into a median on Hwy 98 in Destin.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office news release