INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A Vero Beach High School sophomore is in custody after authorities say he ran over five people with a large vehicle overnight.
According to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, 16-year-old John Garrett Call Jr. got into an altercation during a party at the 3700 block of 66th Avenue Wednesday night, which escalated when he climbed into a large vehicle and plowed the vehicle into a group of people. Call faces five felony charges that include two counts of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery with a vehicle.
Two teenage boys were seriously injured in the incident. One was airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center for treatment. He is listed in stable condition after suffering back, neck, leg and rib injuries. Another was treated for multiple broken bones.
Three others also sustained injuries after being clipped by the vehicle as it drove through an active fire pit and the crowd, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
A passenger in Call’s vehicle told investigators that when he asked Call why he had driven into the crowd, Call responded: “They jumped me so I ran them over,” the arrest report recounts.
When questioned by authorities, Call first told investigators that, in a daze, he got into his vehicle after having been jumped and that he was driving slowly to find his friend – the passenger. He said that the others on the scene were hitting his vehicle as he drove slowly through. Once he picked up his passenger, he then left on 66th Avenue.
Call said he didn’t know he had hit anyone and that he didn’t report being jumped because he didn’t have a phone.
Once told what the passenger told investigators, though, Call changed his story, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and admitted telling the passenger he was going to run the teens over.
Call also said he did not mean to hurt anyone but could not explain how he would not have hurt anyone running them over with a 4,000-pound vehicle, the arrest report states.