MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A man is facing a list of charges after police say he crashed into multiple vehicles Downtown Saturday night.
On April 16, 2022, officers observed a red Dodge Challenger with temporary tags speeding southbound on Front Street from Beale at 10:30. The vehicle continued south and attempted to pass other vehicles when it struck three vehicles at Front Street and Talbot Avenue.
Police say the driver, Markel Strong, was found to be suspended and have warrants for aggravated assault, theft of property, cruelty to animals and vandalism.
According to an affidavit, officers responded to an aggravated assault at the LaQuinta Inn on Primacy Parkway on December 21, 2021. A couple saw a man inside the backseat of their Dodge Ram truck and another man standing on the side of their vehicle. A third man sitting in a white Hyundai Sonata backed into a parking spot in front of their vehicle.
The two men in the truck ran back towards the Sonata while the truck’s owner ran towards their vehicle. The driver of the Sonata fired shots at him. The vehicle owner was struck in his right side. His dog was also struck and killed in the gunfire.
One of the men in the truck who jumped in the front passenger seat of the Sonata and fired shots towards the victims.
Hotel surveillance video showed the white Hyundai Sonata with damage on the right side of the front bumper. The back passenger window was broken out of the Dodge Ram.
A Magellan backpack, a Chromebook, a fishing reel and a Google Play card were missing from the vehicle. The total loss of property was $393, according to MPD.
The next day, officers tracked the stolen Chromebook to a home on Leonard Road and found a white Hyundai Sonata in the area with the same damage to the front bumper. Investigators towed the vehicle.
Two days later, investigators recovered a 9mm shell casing on the front driver’s seat of the vehicle.
Strong was arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon on January 19.
Police said Joseph Applewhite, the owner of the Sonata, was arrested and charged as one of the defendants in this incident. Investgators listened to Applewhite’s jail phone recordings and found where he talked to a man he referred to as “OP”. During the call, the man gave Applewhite his phone number, which investigators discovered is the same number that belongs to Strong.
A search warrant on Strong’s phone showed his phone was at Primacy Parkway when the shooting at the hotel occurred. It also showed that the phone was at the home on Leonard on the same day of the shooting.
Strong was transported to the Methodist University hospital after Saturday’s crash before going to jail. He is due in court on April 18.