ELYRIA – When she saw the screaming man in the street running after her car around 4 a.m. Sunday, April DeJesus panicked.
Attempting to escape, DeJesus said she tried to put her car in reverse and broke the handle off her gear shifter, leaving her car stuck as the man closed in near the intersection of Abbe Road and Cleveland Street.
“He was screaming a bunch of stuff, but I was scared to death. I have no idea what he was saying,” DeJesus said Sunday evening. “I had an idea what he was going to do. Everything was locked up and I was panicking.”
DeJesus, a 38-year-old city resident, said she decided to make a run for it and headed to the Sunoco station at 645 Cleveland St. with the man in pursuit.
“I’m thinking, ‘I don’t care what happens to my car. I can’t move it,’ ” she said. “I’m just fearing for my life.”
The station clerk locked the doors when DeJesus made it inside and called police, according to an Elyria police report.
The man, identified by police as Steven Comrie, of Elyria, then ran away from the station and jumped into the passenger seat of a car driven by Christopher Taylor, according to the report. Taylor, who was stopped at the intersection of Cleveland Street and South Abbe Road, told police the man acted like he was carrying a pistol and ordered him to drive to the Speedway station at 905 E. Broad St. at South Abbe Road.
“The guy was just mumbling and kept screaming, ‘Are you paying attention?! Are you paying attention?! Are you paying attention?’ almost the whole ride,” Taylor said in an interview. “I couldn’t tell if he was making a threat or what was going on.”
Taylor, 29, of Elyria, said he drove to the FirstMerit Bank at South Abbe Road near the Speedway, where the man got out of the car then ran when he heard police sirens.
Police said they arrested Comrie without incident in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant at 1010 E. Broad St. Comrie, 31, of the 100 block of Hawthorne Street, is known to police. He was charged with abduction and robbery.
He has an extensive criminal record including convictions for cocaine possession, resisting arrest and trespassing. Comrie is due in Elyria Municipal Court this morning and was being held at Lorain County Jail on Sunday night in lieu of a $20,000 bond.
DeJesus said she is confident Comrie will be found guilty and hopes he gets a long sentence.
“He was just out of control,” she said. “It was bad.”
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.