Eleazar Richard Van Nort

Eleazar Richard Van Nort

The victim of an attempted carjacking reading the Citrus County Chronicle spotted the man she said tried to steal her car while she was still in it, leading to new charges against a Hernando man.

On July 15, the victim of an attempted carjacking told Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies that at about 4 p.m. on July 10, she was about to leave the Publix on North Forest Ridge Boulevard in Hernando when a man jumped into the front passenger seat, according to the arrest report.

The arresting deputy later identified the man as Eleazar Richard Van Nort, 33.

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The victim told the arresting deputy that Van Nort grabbed her hand holding the ignition and demanded her purse, which rested between the driver and passenger seat. According to records, Van Nort also demanded that the victim get out of the car.

But as soon as she opened her car door, she began to yell for help and hit the panic button on her key fob.

According to the arrest report, a woman came to the car to help the victim and a man approached the passenger side and told the man repeatedly to get out of the car.

Van Nort got out of the car and walked away at a normal pace toward North Forest Ridge Boulevard, according to records.

The victim told the arresting deputy that since the incident she saw a post on the Citrus County Chronicle with a picture of Van Nort and his arrest on another issue.

On July 10, another victim told arresting deputies that a man, later identified as Van Nort, entered her home at her senior citizens apartment complex, took $9 and some change and her car keys and left with the car. He was later arrested after a high-speed chase.

In the alleged carjacking incident, the deputy contacted the Publix grocery store and reviewed security camera footage of the parking lot, according to records.

The deputy reported that the video showed the events as the victim described them and a man fitting Van Nort’s description.

The deputy reported that he met with Van Nort, already in jail on charges for home burglary and auto theft, according to records.

According to records, Van Nort told the deputy he did not remember being at the Publix parking lot because he was “doped out.” He remembered only leaving the Citrus Hills emergency room and walking on North Forest Ridge Boulevard.

He was charged with attempted carjacking. His bond was $25,000 in addition to his previous $21,500 bond stemming from the home burglary and car theft charges.       

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.