Escambia County authorities arrested 37-year-old Joshua James Edwards Monday night and charged him with two counts of carjacking, sexual battery, armed kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to authorities, Edwards kidnapped a female from the Circle K gas station on New Warrington Road and Jackson Street. The ECSO said Edwards is a member of the Aryan Nation, white supremacist terror organization.
They say he stole the victim's car and drove it around all night in Escambia County and some parts of Alabama threatening to kill her. They say he eventually took the victim to Bill Dixon Park on Fence Line Road where he crashed the vehicle and sexually battered the victim. Afterwards, authorities say Edwards and the victim walked to a nearby home on Fence Line Road where he stole another vehicle at gunpoint.
At approximately 7:49 a.m. sheriff's officials were notified of the carjacking, the kidnapping and the sexual battery.
Officials say the second vehicle stolen by Edwards ran out of gas. They say the suspect hitchhiked with a man driving a truck to Walmart on Blue Angel Parkway. The driver of truck contacted authorities about a suspicious person he had dropped off at Walmart.
They say deputies arrived at the store and evacuated the building for safety reasons however, surveillance video revealed that the suspect left the building shortly before the deputies' arrival.
K-9 deputy Mitch Stevens along with Deputy Steven Kay began searching in the nearby woods and spotted Edwards. Chief Deputy Chip Simmons was able to confront Edwards and place him under arrest.