An alleged random carjacking bid at the Koto Japanese Steak House on East Morris Boulevard ended with lightning speed Monday afternoon because the would-be thief didn’t know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, according to police.
Jeffrey John Bradley, 28, never got out of the parking lot, but for purposes of charging him with carjacking and felony theft, the inability to launch is unimportant. Bradley, who gave a Barclay Landing Drive address, remained in the Hamblen County Jail this morning in lieu of $50,000 bond.
The alleged victim wasn’t having any part of what he had every reason to believe was a life-threatening encounter. When Bradley’s thinly veiled threats to cause him harm escalated to specific threats of gunshot wounds, the 19-year-old placed the keys to his father’s 1997 Ford Ranger and fled, according to Morrison.
Bradley didn’t spend long inside the pickup, according to officer James Cruey, the reporting patrolman.
Morrison’s theory described in the arrest warrant is that Bradley bolted “because he didn’t know how to operate a stick shift.”
Police officers swarmed and the defendant was taken into custody in short order. The teen reported he’d never seen Bradley before.
The teen went to Koto to pick up his girlfriend, who works there. He reported that Bradley approached him in a calm, slow manner and perched his elbow on the passenger-side window frame. The defendant allegedly asked for a ride and allegedly added he’d “hate to hurt” him if he didn’t comply, according to the detective.
The teen’s girlfriend was watching the drama unfold from inside the restaurant. By the time the victim reached the safe confines of the Japanese steak house, Bradley had already fled, according to a warrant.
The defendant was wanted for failure to appear in court to answer charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to authorities.