By Charles Sercombe
An owner of a Jeep wasn’t about to let a carjacker get away on Monday afternoon.
A man returning from Peoples State Bank saw another man in his parked car swinging a hammer at the Jeep’s steering column, said auto theft investigator Greg Collins. The Jeep’s owner approached the man and tried to haul him out of the car.
The suspect then began trying to stab the Jeep owner with a screwdriver, missing, and then switched to going after the man with the hammer.
The Jeep owner finally backed off but was able to get a call into the Police Department. When police arrived, the carjacking suspect had just peeled out of the bank’s parking lot. Police followed but called off the chase at Holbrook and Brombach.
As officers were returning to the bank, they noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the I-75 service drive area.
The carjacker had crashed into another car with such force that the other car’s rear end was sheared off. An 8-year-old girl in the car was slightly injured.
Witnesses pointed to the direction where the suspect ran off. He was found in a building, hiding.
The suspect, Travis Jordan Handley, 30, of Wyandotte, has a long criminal history, and admitted he is a heroin addict, Collins said. He was arraigned on Wednesday (Nov. 24) in Hamtramck 31st District Court on 12 felony charges, including being a habitual offender, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
His bond was set at $1 million cash.