Man tries yanking U of M student out of car by hair in carjacking attempt

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There were some frightening moments for an 18-year-old University of Memphis student Monday night just feet away from campus.

Police said the victim told them a man tried yanking her out of her car by her hair before pistol-whipping her. It happened when she said she went to retrieve a phone charger from her friend’s house on Spottswood near Echles around 11:50 p.m.

As she was backing out of the driveway, she said a silver SUV pulled up and blocked her in. She said a man got out and knocked on her window with a gun.

When she rolled down her window, she told police the suspect started yelling at her to get out of the car and threatened to shoot her, but she couldn’t get out of the car because she was already buckled in.

She told police that’s when the suspect started trying to pull her out by her hair and then struck her in the back of her head with his gun.

Three roommates living nearby said they heard her screams.

“We heard a scream, so we kind of like got quiet, and we heard another one,” Justin Motroni said.

“That’s when I kind of looked out the window, and I saw the car driveway, and that’s when I opened the door,” Brodie Lewis said.

The roommates said they dashed outside to see the victim still sitting in her car parked in the driveway.

“She yelled to us saying that she was fine and stuff, but she was crying,” Motroni said.

“We could see the — just blood just dripping down her neck, and it was a lot more than we expected,” Braden Sutton said.

The victim told police that after pistol-whipping her, the suspect got back in the silver SUV and took off with another man driving.

Sutton and his roommates say they called 911 and tried to calm down the victim, but a day later, they’re still trying to process what happened themselves.

“It’s really eye-opening to see that that can happen, especially in the driveway right next to yours,” Sutton said.

“I have night classes here, and I always walk to them, so it’s gonna be a little bit more — I’m gonna be a little bit more alert of my surroundings as I’m walking around campus, especially at night,” Lewis said.

In a written statement, U of M’s Assistant Chief of Police Derek Myers said:

“We regularly patrol that area and all officers are aware of and looking for the suspect vehicle described in this incident. We are also reviewing any camera footage in the vicinity for information that may help identify the suspects or suspect vehicle.”

Memphis Police had only a vague description of one of the suspects and no description for the other.

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