MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A man who had his car broken into outside a downtown music school Wednesday said the burglar was armed with a screwdriver when the man’s cousin tried to hit him in the head with a gun, and the gun accidentally went off.
No one was shot, but the cousin, Darval Washington, was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.
Raheem Morrison said when he caught the teen in his vehicle, he and his cousin gave the teen an opportunity to leave, but when the teen picked up the screwdriver, the situation escalated.
“My cousin, seeing that tried to strike him on the head. Before he could hit him, the kid fell to the ground, and then he was just pleading please don’t kill me and stuff like that. We said you are going to jail, though,” said Morrison. “He struck my cousin in the chest and bit his arm. The guy falls to the ground. The gun falls to the ground, and that’s when the gun went off.”
Raheem Morrison works at a Christian Record Label house in the Visible Music College. He said he and his cousin had only been inside the building for about two hours, and when they came out, they saw broken glass next to his car and the teen in the driver’s side of his Kia.
He thinks the juvenile was trying to steal his car.
“It looked like instead of taking stuff out of the car, he was trying to hotwire the car to take it because I did notice the frame under my steering wheel was off,” Morrison said.
Morrison said the teen was fighting them right up to the time an officer arrived on the scene and appeared to be pretending to be unconscious.
Morrison said he told the officer the teen had not been hit with the gun or shot but felt like he and his cousin were immediately being treated like suspects.
“They didn’t take any statements,” he said. “We were patted down, and my cousin and I were placed in the cop car for three hours.”
According to the affidavit of complaint, Washington told investigators he struck the teen in the face with the gun, and while he and Morrison were trying to detain him, the gun accidentally discharged.
“The affidavit from police and my cousin’s statement in court didn’t align, so the judge let him out on his own recognizance. He has a hearing in April,” said Morrison.
Morrison said he would like to see the charges against his brother dropped and said they plan to file a complaint with the police department about how the way they were treated.
“Off the bat, we were already the suspects,” he said. “I didn’t understand why so many detectives and chiefs came, and no one is asking us anything. They are just talking to each other.”
Police have not said if the teen who broke into Morrisons’ car is facing any charges.