ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW) — A longtime Cleveland attorney’s Maserati was stolen and then crashed by the carjackers, and all of it was caught on video.
“I’m still stunned, shocked. I can’t believe this happened to me,” said the 59-year-old lawyer, who did not want to be identified.
He said he was getting gas on the evening of June 19 and decided to grab a couple of items from the station’s carry-out.
He didn’t notice a sedan that pulled into the station and then backed up, parking unusually close to his 2019 Maserati SUV.
“I came back out and instantly sensed something was wrong, but I didn’t follow my instincts,” he said.
After he got into his SUV, it became clear why the four teens in the sedan parked so close.
“One of them slammed the door into my car, and I was stunned. I got back out and he stuck a handgun to my stomach and said, “Your car or your life,'” he said.
Surveillance video shows the longtime lawyer struggling with the gunman, who quickly grabbed his keys from his pocket.
The gunman’s three accomplices jumped out of the car and started to surround the SUV.
“I knew I was outnumbered and instinct … said ‘run,’” he said.
He retreated to the carry-out where he locked the front door and shouted for the clerk to call police.
It took the suspects a while to figure out how to operate the Maserati, but they eventually did and drove away heading for the interstate.
“Helpless, nothing I could do, and it happened all in 30 seconds,” said the car owner said. “They didn’t care, you could see it in their eyes. It was heartless.”
After filing a police report that night, the attorney was stunned when detectives contacted him days later and told him that his Maserati was totaled in a high-speed crash in Cleveland.
That incident was also captured by surveillance cameras.
Police said the suspects thought a security guard who was following the SUV was an undercover police officer, so they sped away smashing into four cars and a utility pole before running away.
“There was no purpose to this crime, and they didn’t gain any value,” the carjacking victim said. “They were joyriding and destroyed a vehicle that was very dear to me. I’d just gotten it.”
Investigators say a break in the case came when they discovered that the car driven by the suspects to Rocky River on the night of the carjacking had been stolen days earlier from a food delivery driver.
Police said one of the suspects used his actual street nickname to place a bogus order that summoned the driver from a food delivery service to the carjackers’ neighborhood.
That, police said, led to the identification of the 17-year-old gunman, his three accomplices, and their roles in a series of carjackings and robberies.
The attorney says the carjacking has had a profound impact on his life.
“I’ve slept with a handgun next to my bed with my doors dead-bolted,” he said. “Wherever you are — gas station, grocery store, department store — and you see a car next to your car very close with several individuals, walk away, go back in, wait for them to leave or call the police.”