MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis officers have arrested a man who they say attempted to carjack a vehicle at a gas station with a three-year-old inside on Monday.
According to court documents, an officer responded to a call of two people struggling in the driver’s seat at Circle K on the 2600 block of Getwell Road.
Police said a man parked his Toyota Corolla in front of the business and went inside the store, leaving his wife, who was pregnant, and their three-year-old son in the car.
Officers said when the man went into the store, Elpedro Parker, 27, jumped in the driver’s seat of the car and put the vehicle in reverse.
As the car started backing up, the woman jumped out of the car but jumped back inside once she realized her son was still in the vehicle. When she jumped back into the car, police said she tried to snatch the keys out of the ignition.
The male victim saw Parker attempting to steal his car and kidnapping his wife and son. He then jumped into the vehicle, pulled the emergency brake and snatched the keys out of the ignition, according to police.
The victim, who doesn’t want to be identified, says he told Parker to get out of the car but Parker refused. So, he started to hit Parker. He says the struggle finally ended when an off-duty police officer heard the commotion and came to help. The officer arrested Parker.
“Thank God my family’s safe,” the victim said. “My son’s safe and everything good.”
He says Parker was acting odd and kept shouting someone was after him.
“I don’t know. There’s some problem with his mind,” the victim said.
Parker is being charged with carjacking, attempted kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping.