MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was assaulted and carjacked in broad daylight at a gas station in downtown Memphis.
Monday morning was ordinary for 67-year-old John Ehemann, who sells restaurant supplies. He went to visit his clients at the Exxon on Riverside Drive. But what happened next came out of nowhere.
Ehemann came out to his truck, which was parked near the dumpsters, when someone hit him behind the head.
“I was on my way back to the car, and a young man, about 25, came up and assaulted me,” Ehemann said. “I wish I would have seen him face to face. If you’re going to attack me, hit me head-on instead of sneaking up behind me.”
Ehemann said he didn’t go down without a fight. But ultimately, he said the man, who wore a green reflective vest, got away with his 2004 white Sierra GMC, work laptop, personal items, and the keys to his restaurant.
“When he hit me the second time, I had so much bleeding coming out of my face, my eye area, that my only intentions were to get back inside where I would be safe,” Ehemann said.
The 67-year-old’s sense of security was snatched in seconds.
“They took my spirit. Never in my wildest mind would I ever thought I would have been assaulted,” he said.
We mapped out crime in the downtown area. According to MPD’s Data Hub, officers have responded to more than 1,300 calls regarding assaults, thefts, robberies, and property crimes in the last three months.
“I definitely think it’s a problem. I think people aren’t going to feel safe unless the car break-ins stop,” said Kristin Dannemiller, who lives in the South Main District.
She said she has had her car stolen in the past and sees broken glass almost daily.
“They’re trying to break into these cars to get the guns out. Most of the time you hear about people just breaking the windows and not taking anything, even things that are valuable,” Dannemiller said.
She wants to see stricter gun laws, while Ehemann says it’s the answer to fighting crime may be above his pay grade.
“That’s the million-dollar question. I know they are short-staffed. I appreciate everything they do,” Ehemann said. “I would love to see more of the police cameras downtown so we can at least identify who is doing this.
Ehemann said MPD told him his truck was spotted in Frayser and Olive Branch. There is also surveillance video, so hopefully that helps with the investigation.
If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.