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Police: Vehicle owner thwarts carjacking | Crime

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Police: Vehicle owner thwarts carjacking
Police: Vehicle owner thwarts carjacking


Lamar Aaron McKenzie, 401 Neptune Street, was arrested on charges of Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Criminal Mischief in the 1st Degree, Breaking or Entering and Criminal Attempt to Commit Theft over $5,000.

Shortly before 11pm Sunday night, officers with the Hot Spring Police Department were dispatched to the Spring Hotel, 135 Central Avenue in referenced to an aggravated robbery.

Upon arrival officers reported observing the victim, Joseph R. Cook Jr., and the suspect, later identified as lamar McKenzie laying in the middle of the driveway scuffling.

McKenzie was immediately taken into custody. Cook advised officers that he had just gotten off work at The Springs Hotel and was walking towards his vehicle parked against the east wall, when he spotted a black man – later identified as McKenzie – sitting in the driver’s seat with the door slightly open.

Cook stated that when he asked the man what he was doing in his vehicle, the man suddenly pushed the driver’s door against him, causing Cook to push back. McKenzie then climbed over the front seat and exited out the rear passenger door.

Cook was able to get to him and grab his arm in an attempt to detain him, but McKenzie freed himself and turned on Cook and came toward him wielding a silver folding knife.

Despite the threat, Cook was able to grab McKenzie around his body and eventually got him to relinquish the knife.

He was holding him down when officers arrived.

Detective Clem arrived on scene and noted “a silver folding blade knife in the open position approximately 20 feet from Cook’s SUV laying in the middle of the driveway of the hotel.” Cook’s vehicle “had wires cut underneath the steering column and lower air bag and panel had been ripped down making the airbag nonfunctional”.

Damages to the vehicle were estimated at $1,500. McKenzie was transported to the Hot Springs Police Department where he admitted, after being Mirandized, that he was attempting to hotwire the vehicle with plans to visit friends in West Memphis.