A repeat felon will serve 25 years in prison for stabbing a father and carjacking a family at a South Miami-Dade gas station, a crime caught on jarring surveillance video.
Gilberto Watson, 26, pleaded guilty on Friday to armed carjacking, armed burglary with battery and several other felonies.
The victims were husband-and-wife Abel Carvajal and Dianexi Molina, who were gassing up their van at a Westar gas station before taking their daughter to school for a field trip in May 2015.
According to Miami-Dade police, Watson pulled Carvajal from the driver’s side while repeatedly thrusting a blade into the man. Abel suffered stab wounds to the lower body, and survived.
Another man, Taderius McKire, 23, pulled Molina from the passenger’s side, according to an arrest report. During the wild struggle, the couple’s daughter escaped the van, briefly struggling with the robbers in an attempt to get her cell phone back before the men drove off.
An alert immediately went out to cops, one of whom quickly spotted the van. The carjackers smashed into the officer’s patrol car and drove off, police said.
But Watson, police said, lost control of the van and plowed into a traffic-light pole near a South Dixie Highway busway. Watson ran off but was arrested and taken to Kendall Regional Hospital, where he was eventually arrested.
McKire was left wedged in the passenger-side of the van and had to be extracted by firefighters. He is awaiting trial.
Assistant State Attorney Evan Gilead prosecuted Watson as a “habitual felony offender” — the defendant had six felony convictions before his latest arrest. Watson will have to serve five years of probation after he is released from prison.