Big Pine Key – A Summerland key man was arrested overnight for carjacking a Miami Herald delivery person on Big Pine Key.
The victim, a Sugarloaf Key resident, said she was delivering newspapers on Big Pine Key just after 2 a.m. today when the incident occurred. She was at the Shell gas station when 23 year old Nicholas Merkey pointed a fire extinguisher at her and told her he would spray her with it if she didn’t give him a ride home to Summerland key. She was frightened, she said, but got into her 1996 Ford Explorer and drove to her next delivery stop at the Big Pine restaurant. As she was loading newspapers into the machine at the restaurant, Merkey grabbed her, threw her to the ground, jumped into her vehicle and drove away.
Investigations revealed he’d forced open the fire extinguisher holder near the gas pumps at the gas station. He’d also turned over a trash can and an ash tray in the front of the station.
The van was found, crashed into a wooded area near the intersection of Katherine and 45 Streets on Summerland Key; Merkey was found at his home on 46th Street. He was arrested, charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal mischief, and robbery. Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the vehicle accident.