ELYRIA — Nick Hurst was glad to finally own a car that could get him to a new job.
The 20-year-old Elyria resident’s purchase of a 1996 Ford Taurus some weeks earlier had come at the right time. He was to start a new job April 3 at Green Circle Growers in Oberlin.
But his car was stolen at knifepoint April 2 by a man who sped off in it, only to end up damaging the Ford in a head-on collision with another car in North Ridgeville minutes later.
Hurst’s family has established an online account to which people have already donated $1,410 toward a goal of $2,500 to allow Nick to replace the vehicle.
“It took off the first day,” his mother, Lisa Hurst, said of the endeavor. “We’ve had a lot of friends donating, and it’s still going.”
Nick Hurst had obtained the Green Circle job through a temporary job placement service. He’s looking for work again but knows lack of transportation is a major roadblock.
“I was just getting out of the car when this guy pushed me against it with a knife,” Nick Hurst said Friday as he recounted the uncertain, fearful moments he endured outside the Washington Avenue apartment building where he and his girlfriend live with their three young children.
“He held the knife against my stomach and kept pushing me against the car,” Nick Hurst said.
The man, whom police later identified as Cedrick K. Lindsay, 20, kept telling Hurst to hand over his car keys. Hurst thought about not giving up his keys.
“He looked unpredictable, like he didn’t know what to do,” Hurst said.
Then Lindsay ripped the keys from Hurst’s hand, jumped in the car and took off, according to police.
Less than 15 minutes later, police say Lindsey crashed the car into a Buick Regal at Center Ridge and Lear-Nagle roads in North Ridgeville.
Lindsay and the driver of the Regal, a North Ridgeville woman, were admitted to St. John Medical Center in Westlake for their injuries.
Lindsay was later transferred to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, according to Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino. He now is in the county jail, where he is being held on aggravated robbery charges pressed by Elyria police.
North Ridgeville police decided to forward their charges against Lindsay to a county grand jury, according to Capt. Marti Garrow. Those counts include aggravated vehicular assault, failure to comply with a lawful order and driving under suspension.
“When I first heard he had been held up with a knife, the tears just came to my eyes,” Lisa Hurst said.
Nick used the bulk of an income tax refund to buy the Taurus for $1,000.
“It had 194,000 miles on it but was in really good shape,” Nick said. “It ran decent. We replaced the battery right away and then we had to do the alternator.”
Nick’s parents, who work different hours, try to help out when they can, but know that can’t provide daily rides to and from a job.
Still, they want to help where they can.
Nick was starting to head toward troubling behavior for a time but got himself straightened out, according to his dad, Chris, a service technician for Time Warner Cable.
“He settled down,” the elder Hurst said. “He’s a good kid trying to make it.”
A former Elyria High School student, Nick plans to get his GED degree. In the meantime, Nick has a possible job offer at General Plug & Manufacturing in Oberlin, and another job interview may be in the offing as well, according to his father.
Anyone wishing to donate may do so at www.gofundme.com.