Dante Askins, Gregory McDonald, Levanti Redding, and Montez Taylor embarked on a violent criminal spree that they would soon regret. The four Florida high school kids, aged 15 to 19, were apprehended after reportedly carjacking and kidnapping a Texas man on holiday with his family in Orlando. They had chosen the worst potential individual to be their target, little did they realize.
Gregory McDonald 18/19, Dante Askins, 18, Levanti Redding, 16, and Montez Taylor, 15, faced their potential victims at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn on the International Drive tourist corridor on a Wednesday night while he was packing up his car. The teenagers pistol-whipped the man before tying him up, stealing his wallet, and shoving him into the backseat of his car.
The thieves reportedly drove about for two hours with their kidnapped victim handcuffed in the backseat until his wife used OnStar to contact the car. The OnStar employee dialled the car and heard somebody yelling for assistance, Sheriff Jerry Demings explained. The teenagers must have panicked and chose to flee in an effort to get away with what they had committed.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the accused swiftly dumped the stolen SUV near a deserted drug house and escaped on foot. However, it was too late. They would soon discover that the guy they had abducted was Armando Alaniz, a federal agent with the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Despite the fact that they had left him confined inside the deserted truck, the spy was able to escape. According to records, Alaniz subsequently required four stitches to repair a scalp cut caused by pistol-whipping, but it was nothing compared to what these “boys” were about to experience.
Remarkably, all four individuals were captured soon. According to arrest documents for Dante Askins, an accused member of the Death Over Mercy street gang, he was spotted driving a stolen automobile the next day, less than a mile from the previous night’s carjacking. Because this was the 18-year-old’s sixth arrest, he was kept without bond in the Orange County Jail.
Maybe most alarming, Askins was arrested as an adult as a 16-year-old with attempted murder in association with a drive-by gunshot targeting a member of the rival Gorilla Gang. The allegations against the boy were subsequently dismissed, while his two co-defendants received lengthy jail sentences. He may have gotten away with it previously, but he wouldn’t be so lucky this time, given that he was an adult when he committed the carjacking and abduction.
The other three accused were apprehended on the same day as Askins. Montez Taylor, 15, was accompanied by his parents as he turned himself in at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning after the carjacking and abduction. According to Sheriff Demings, Redding, the 16-year-old accused, was apprehended mere hours later, and McDonald was arrested that night.
The two younger kids, who had past run-ins with the authorities, were detained in the state Juvenile Detention Center in Orlando after their capture. McDonald was detained without bond until a court hearing could be scheduled. Yet, it remained unknown where McDonald was being detained. But one thing is certain: the sheriff was not pleased with what these “guys” had committed.
Sheriff Demings delivered a strong message that hooliganism is not tolerated in his community by arresting all four of the adolescent accused. Not only will heightened patrols in the International Drive tourist sector continue, yet Demings will hold individuals who are found intimidating innocent people accountable. As evidence, the high school students were accused of armed abduction, carjacking, and aggravated violence with a pistol.
These high school children were caught playing a hazardous game, Sheriff Demings said, noting that investigators will attempt to discover if all of the youngsters are members of gangs. They want one to think twice about coming to the town with criminal intent. Many feel that this is the ideal mentality for any sheriff to have, irrespective of how young the offenders they apprehend are.