Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Clayton County police are expected to charge Elijah Freeman, 20, with carjacking and other felonies following Friday’s alleged theft and crash on the front lawn of police headquarters in Jonesboro.
By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Talk about Mohammad going to the mountain.
Clayton County police said an alleged carjacker saved them time and resources by literally driving onto the front lawn of headquarters in Jonesboro Friday morning. It was almost a surrender of sorts.
Oh, and his wardrobe malfunction played a role in his capture.
"He ran out of his pants," said Maj. Kevin Roberts. "I have found in my experience it's very helpful to law enforcement that some criminals wear baggy pants. It's to our benefit."
Police said Elijah Rael Freeman, 20, took the car at gunpoint from 701 Mount Zion Road and fled the area. Officers recovered the weapon and a mask from the front seat. No one was hurt, said Roberts.
A witness alerted police to the theft and a detective in the area spotted the vehicle, he said. The detective asked for back-up from uniformed officers.
"The uniformed officers caught up with the vehicle and tried to initiate a stop by turning on emergency lights," said Roberts. "The offender responded by fleeing into the intersection in front of the Clayton County Police Department. Unfortunately, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed onto the front lawn."
Roberts said Freeman ran out of his pants and shoes and fled toward the department's aviation division behind the headquarters. Other officers gave chase and caught up with him.
"He did pretty good damage to our front lawn," said Roberts. "He ended up in a good location. We appreciate his cooperation."
Freeman said nothing as he was led into the headquarters for questioning by detectives about his possible involvement in similar crimes. After the interview, he was taken to the Clayton County Jail to be booked.
The crashed car drew lots of onlookers at the busy intersection of Ga. 138 and McDonough Street. Employees streamed out of police headquarters to take photos and marvel at Freeman's apparent lack of acumen.
"What is wrong with some people?" asked a woman as she exited her car to walk into the headquarters.
Freeman was out on bond in a January felony case, according to Clayton County Superior Court records. He was assigned a public defender Tuesday on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, criminal damage to property in the second degree, theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction of an officer.