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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Channel 19 reporter nabs carjacker

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2008 at 5:53 AM

Shannon O’Brien: TV anchor/ crime fighter.
It started out as a normal morning for Shannon O’Brien, a news anchor for Channel 19. It was 5 a.m., and she was on East 9th getting a live shot of National City for a story about the bank “getting an influx of cash blah, blah, blah,” O’Brien says. Suddenly a black SUV pulled up to the news van, going the wrong way down the street. The passenger rolled down his window and asked if he knew where the nearest US Bank was… O’Brien’s eyes, however, weren’t on the passenger. They was on the driver, who was holding his fingers up to his head like a gun. “He looked so scared,” O’Brien says. She told the passenger she didn’t know where the bank was. Sorry. Then she told her cameraman, Eric Walls, to follow the car. “I think it’s been carjacked.” Walls followed the car while O’Brien called 911. (See footage here.) When the SUV turned onto Lorain, two police cars intercepted the vehicle. The driver jumped out screaming. The police surrounded the car, pulled the suspect to the ground, and found a gun in his pocket. Turns out the suspect had carjacked the SDUV a few minutes earlier and demanded money from the victim, who claimed he didn’t have any. They’d need to find a bank. That’s when the two saw the news van. While it was incredibly stupid for a robber to ask a television news crew for directions to a bank, O’Brien says it was actually the victim’s quick thinking that saved the day. “He told the highjacker that news crews know where everything is down town,” O’Brien says. The suspect, Eric Jones has been charged with armed robbery and is being held on a $50,000 bond. And the victim, O’Brien says, “hugged me so tight.” – Rebecca Meiser

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