Man faces attempted murder charges in Ocoee crash


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  • | 7:52 a.m. December 11, 2014
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  • West Orange Times & Observer
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OCOEE — A dispute in a vehicle between a man and a woman who have shared a home turned hostile and nearly fatal on Nov. 28 in Ocoee.

Christian Larsen, an Ocoee man born in Winter Garden, was in a heated debate with his on-and-off girlfriend, who had been driving him to his mother’s residence.

The original witness to their dispute told police that he had seen a car parked with its lights on in the middle of the intersection of East Orlando Avenue and Banderas Avenue. The witness said he had heard a female screaming for help and a male yelling, before the vehicle sped away, westbound on East Orlando Avenue. He later identified the vehicle at its crash site, near the Ocoee Food Mart at 744 S. Bluford Ave.

The woman in the car with Larsen said that she had been driving that car when Larsen had demanded her cell phone for unknown reasons. She refused to give it to him, but he persisted in his demands, she said. She promptly stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road, fearing Larsen would try to harm her as she was driving, based on their domestic-violence history, she said. She was afraid of him causing a car crash, especially with her one-month-old daughter in the back seat of the vehicle, she said.

As the woman tried to exit the vehicle, Larsen grabbed her right wrist and began twisting it while telling her that he would physically hurt her if she did not get back into the vehicle, she said. Out of fear from their past and Larsen’s tight, painful grip on her wrist, the woman complied against her will, seeing no choice but to get back into the vehicle, she said.

Once the woman got back into the car, Larsen told her that he would kill her, break her teeth in and put her head through the windshield of the vehicle, if she did not continue to drive, she said. As her fear grew from his threats, the woman continued to drive, at which point Larsen pressed his hand on her right leg, forcing her to press the accelerator harder and make the vehicle travel faster, she said.

While the woman drove south on Bluford Avenue, Larsen once more began to demand her cell phone, she said. Larsen became enraged at that point and once again threatened to kill her, she said.

While the woman was driving between 35 and 40 mph, Larsen suddenly fastened his seat belt and then grabbed the steering wheel from the driver, causing the car to careen off the roadway and crash hard into a pole at 744 S. Bluford Ave., she said. Yet again, Larsen told the driver that he was going to kill her, she said.

Officer Stevens Bertrand reported to the scene a short time later, at 6:16 p.m., and investigated the incident.

Bertrand said he had learned that the driver and Larsen had resided together in a single unit in the past six months, having dated. Larsen said they were still dating.

Bertrand gave the driver a domestic violence pamphlet, he said.

Bertrand reported that the woman had a laceration on the back of her head that was around three inches long and two inches wide; bruises on both legs; two minor abrasions about four inches long on the right side of her neck; and swellings on the back of her head. Her daughter had an abrasion on her lower back that was about four inches long and two inches wide, he said.

Because of their injuries in the crash, Larsen, the driver and the driver’s daughter received transport to a nearby hospital.

“Due to the totality of circumstances, Larsen did some act intended to cause death that went beyond just thinking or talking about it,” Bertrand said. “Larsen acted with a premeditated design to kill by placing his seat belt on prior to committing an act, grabbing the steering wheel, that could result in the death of the occupants. The act would have resulted in the death of (the driver) and (her daughter), a one-year-old child.”

As a result, Bertrand arrested and charged Larsen with false imprisonment, battery and two counts of attempted murder.

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].

 

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