Man attacked by citizens during car theft attempt: Police
A Montgomery County man is being held without bond on attempted carjacking and other charges after police said he tried to steal a Honda Civic from a 78-year-old woman walking with a cane -- an endeavor that got him attacked by several people who were in the area.
Javier Gonzalez-Mena, 27, escaped from the citizens after the alleged Sunday attempt, but was picked up a short time later by police. One telling clue, according to the police: He dropped a house key at the crime scene that fit an apartment door linked to him. Gonzalez-Mena had previously served time for carjacking, and appears to have been on probation at the time of the latest alleged attempt, according to Montgomery Circuit Court records.
The victim, who screamed for help in Spanish, was not injured, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
Police got involved in the case shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, when they were called to a parking lot outside a Bestway grocery store on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring. There, they learned that a suspect approached the woman saying “Give me your keys. I have a knife,” according to police charging documents.
At one point, the victim saw the tip of a kitchen knife inches from her body as she gave the man her keys, according to the charging document. She began walking toward the store screaming for help, according to police.
The suspect got inside the blue Honda as other people came to the victim’s assistance, according to the charging documents. The suspect jumped out of the Honda, dropping a knife and the key, according to the charging documents. The group attacked him, but he was able to get away, according to a police spokesman.
Police said earlier Tuesday the suspect, who upon arrest had swelling around his right eye, could have been injured by the people who aided the woman. But the injury appears to predate the attempted carjacking, according to the charging documents, as the victim noted it in descriptions of the alleged carjacker.
Her description, meanwhile, matched a description police had received about two hours earlier related to a disturbance at an apartment building in Silver Spring. Officers returned to that apartment, and successfully fit the key they'd found in a door. The suspect returned, and was arrested after a short foot chase, police said. Gonzalez-Mena's actual address is in Clarksburg, according to police.
Gonzalez-Mena was charged with attempted carjacking, attempted theft, reckless endangerment, assault, and possession of a dangerous and deadly weapon, and other offenses, police said.
-- Dan Morse
December 29, 2009; 4:14 PM ET
Categories: Dan Morse , Montgomery
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