December 22, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
39°F
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Teens say gunman took them for ride

ELYRIA — Three teens who told police they were abducted at gunpoint Monday night and forced to drive in circles through Lorain were still shaking Tuesday when they shared their story.

“I didn’t know where I was going,” said the oldest, 18, who was behind the wheel when his car was hijacked. “I just wanted to get home alive.”

The teens, who asked to remain anonymous because they are afraid their assailant will find them, had just picked up job applications about 8 p.m. at the Burger King on West River Road, near Midway Mall.

As they returned to their car in the parking lot, a middle-aged Hispanic man caught them by surprise, they said.

“I just felt a hand pushing on my back,” said the driver’s brother, 17.

The 17-year-old said he was pushed into the back seat with his brother’s 15-year-old girlfriend and the man got into the front passenger seat, keeping a large, semiautomatic handgun pointed at the driver as they traveled through Lorain for about an hour and a half.

The teens provided police with a pretty solid description — saying he is between 30 and 35 years old, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a medium build, light skin and two faded green heart tattoos on the left side of his neck. He was wearing a brown Carhartt jacket and jeans, according to an Elyria police report.

The driver said the man repeatedly threatned to shoot them, and that he seemed to be confused about where he wanted to go as he gave them directions that had them driving around in circles.

Finally, about 9:45 p.m., the man screamed at the driver to stop  in the area of Colorado Avenue near the Henderson Bridge, the 18-year-old said.

When the man jumped out and ran to a house, the terrified teens left as quickly as they could manage, they said.

“You don’t get any sleep (after that),” the 18-year-old said. “You always think, ‘That can’t happen to me, that can’t happen to me,’ but it does.”

Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.