Man threatened with rock pick, carjacked at Cracker Barrel in Lakeland

LAKELAND, Tenn. -- A man told police he just parked his car at a Cracker Barrel when a stranger waved a rock pick and threatened to bash his head in.

It happened during dinnertime Saturday when the restaurant in Lakeland on Davies Plantation was packed.

"Pulled into a parking spot at the end of the lot there," said Charles McDonald. "He wasn't threatening at first. He was talking in a normal tone."

The stranger demanded McDonald's car keys.

"I said, 'Oh, you don't want to do that. Let me give you some money," said McDonald.

He said the man then pulled out a rock pick and held it high. He then reportedly threatened to bash McDonald's head.

Afraid of what would come next, McDonald complied.

He handed over his car keys.

"He drove off calmly. He didn't do a quick backup or a jackrabbit start or anything like that," said McDonald.

He dialed 911 as he watched his red Volvo head toward a neighborhood north of the restaurant.

His sister told deputies she saw the man too. He allegedly tried to get her attention as she walked inside.

One reason McDonald is so grateful this story ended the way it did.

"His intent was to get an automobile," said McDonald. "If he didn't get me, he would have got the next person. He wasn't going away. He was going to be there and get a car."

WREG reached out to Cracker Barrel by phone and email for a comment, but have yet to hear back as of Monday night.

It's unclear if this incident was caught on security cameras.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.