Owners thwart would-be car thief ... 7 times
by Wes Mayer
A 16-year-old boy was arrested recently after police stopped his rampage of attempted carjackings.
Just after 6:30 p.m. on Friday, officers with the Newnan Police Department were dispatched to East Washington Street between Farmer Street and Robinson Street in reference to a male suspect attempting to steal a truck. According to Officer Jody Stanford’s police report, while en route, officers were told the suspect was trying to enter a second vehicle — which actually turned out to be vehicle number seven.
According to his report, Stanford was flagged down around 78 East Washington St. by a victim, Mr. Berry, who was trying to pull the suspect out of his car. The suspect was in the process of putting the car in gear when Stanford approached him, drew his weapon and ordered him to get out and get on the ground. The suspect complied and laid on his stomach, and Stanford kneeled on top of him, commanding him to put his hands behind his back.
The suspect obeyed Stanford and put his right hand behind his back, Stanford said, but refused to place his left hand behind his back once other officers arrived. After dealing with more resistance, Stanford struck the suspect multiple times in the back of his left upper arm until he complied and was successfully handcuffed, the officer reported.
The suspect was transported to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and then the police department where it was discovered he was a juvenile.
Stanford then spoke to all involved victims and witnesses, and discovered the suspect had attempted to break into and steal seven different vehicles.
According to the police report:
• The first vehicle belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Huggins. The suspect approached their truck on East Washington Street, which was occupied by Mrs. Huggins, and tried to break inside. Fortunately, Mr. Huggins was nearby and pulled the suspect out of the truck. The suspect then tried to hit Mr. Huggins with a brick before running off.
• The suspect ran to vehicle number two, a blue Ford van belonging to Mr. Donnahoe at the same East Washington Street residence. Donnahoe was able to stop the suspect, but during their struggle, Donnahoe was injured — he was later transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
• The juvenile was unable to steal Donnahoe’s vehicle and began to run down the street, jumping in front of vehicle number three. The driver, Ms. Hill, thought she might have hit the juvenile, and stopped to ask if he’d been injured. The juvenile answered by attempting to push his way into her car, unbuckle her seat belt and pull her out. Mr. Huggins was still nearby and was able to rescue Hill by chasing the suspect away.
• The juvenile then went after vehicle number four, driven by Ms. Groover. The suspect attempted to open Groover’s door, but she locked the doors in time after being warned by another man (possibly Mr. Huggins), and drove off. Groover told authorities the suspect chased after her vehicle on foot for a short distance and tried to beat on her windows to gain entry.
• Unsuccessful there, the juvenile went after vehicle number five, driven by Ms. Sholer. This time the suspect tried punching through the windows, but did not break any of them and Sholer sped away out of his reach.
• The juvenile then saw vehicle number six, driven by Ms. Bishop, and jumped onto the vehicle’s hood to beat on the windows. Bishop told authorities she reacted by putting the car in reverse and throwing him off the hood.
• Then vehicle number seven drove up, driven by Mr. Berry. After being flung off Bishop’s car, the juvenile got up, saw that Berry’s windows were rolled down and jumped through the passenger’s side window. Berry tried to hold the juvenile down, but the juvenile began to hit Berry, and it was during their struggle officers arrived to end the situation.
The juvenile was charged with four counts of simple battery and six felony counts of attempted theft by taking automobiles. He was later transported to the youth detention center in Dallas, Ga.