Three men who tried to carjack a man by beating him with a wooden stick outside a fitness center were forced to flee when their victim fought back using his training in mixed martial arts, police say.
One would-be thief even managed to get into the victim’s car but was unable to drive off because he didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said.
Cops were called to Anytime Fitness in Stafford, Virginia, 40 miles south of Washington D.C., for reports of a brawl in the parking lot just before 5pm on Tuesday.
Multiple callers contacted local cops to report three men attacking an unidentified gym member in an attempt to steal his car.
Police identified the suspects as 19-year-old Jabez Clark, 18-year-old Korey Richardson, and 20-year-old Jacob Land.
The three men allegedly hit the victim several times, but the gym member defended himself and fought back, according to deputies.
One of the suspects eventually seized the man’s car keys after he dropped them, and jumped in the car.
Deputies said a victim fought back against three people: Korey Richardson (left), Jacob Land (right) and Jabez Clark, who were trying to carjack him while beating him with a large wooden stick, deemed to be a baseball bat, in Stafford County
Jabez Clark (pictured), 19, and two others tried to carjack the unidentified victim’s car but failed after not knowing how to drive a vehicle with manual transmission
But the three attackers were then unable to flee the scene because they didn’t know how to drive cars with manual transmissions, deputies said.
Finally, after giving up on trying to drive off, the aggressors got out of the car before more people from inside the gym hurried out to stop the attempting carjacking.
All three suspects were able to get back in their own vehicle and flee the scene.
Officials learned the suspects were driving a white Acura sedan with Mississippi plates and they were quickly spotted by a deputy who attempted to pull the car over on Garrisonville Road near I-95, the main north-south highway on the east coast.
However, instead of pulling over, the suspects took off and headed northbound on I-95 at a speed of 98 mph, deputies said.
Near mile marker 145, the suspects drove onto the HOV lanes by crashing through the barrier arm and began driving oppositely from traffic, heading northbound.
Officials learned the suspects were driving a white Acura sedan with Mississippi plates, which led cops on a high-speed chase
Stafford County deputies, Virginia State Police and a Marine Corps base in Quantico set up a perimeter around the area.
The three suspects eventually got out of the vehicle and took off by foot. They tried to get into the wooded median between the HOV lanes and the southbound lanes of the interstate.
No crashes happened and no injuries were reported.
A police dog, named Titan, and his handler, Sgt. B.U. Demirci, were able to track the suspects through the woods and found the three men. They were told to surrender or the K-9 would be deployed. Two of the men obeyed the sergeant’s instructions.
‘The third suspect incorrectly judged his own speed or K-9 Titan’s speed and attempted to run away,’ Stafford County deputies said. ‘This attempt was futile as K-9 Titan was released and apprehended the suspect within 50 yards.’
According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s office, Clark is charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, malicious wounding, assault, vandalism and possession of burglary tools.
Richardson is charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, eluding, reckless driving and hit and run; while Land is charged with carjacking robbery, conspiracy and vandalism.
All three suspects are being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond, though Land briefly went to the hospital for treatment of a dog bite.
Their trial date or location is unknown.