FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Good Samaritan who helped subdue a man accused of carjacking a woman and her son during a driving lesson is telling his story – and what a story it is.
Janette Lackore told Broward Sheriff’s investigators that she was teaching her college-aged son how to drive a car with a stick shift in the parking lot of Gator Run Elementary School in Weston when they were approached by an armed man.
“One minute you have a mother teaching her son how to drive a stick shift, then shortly after that her son is struggling with a gunman, struggling to save her life and to save his life,” said Veda Coleman-Wright with BSO.
That man, later identified as 44-year-old Jorge Almeida, forced them to drive to the rest area on US 27 near MM 39. Lackore’s 18-year old son Brandon Haynes was behind the wheel — driving at gunpoint.
“He said he basically targeted them because he saw them as easy prey, while the mother was in the parking lot,” said Coleman-Wright.
The trip ended at a boat ramp when the two were ordered out of the Jeep Wrangler and over to a picnic table. That’s when the 18-year old made his move, going after Almeida’s gun – but got shot in the knee in the process.
“He got into a struggle with the suspect. He was able to somehow, after the suspect shot him the first time, he was able to somehow get the magazine, clip out of the gun. The suspect tried to fire a second time and nothing happened. And that’s when the suspect reached for a knife,” said Coleman-Wright.
Just then two strangers pulled in and helped the teen hold Almeida until deputies arrived. Andrey Tkachuk says he knew he had to help.
“As soon as we stop I open the door and I hear the pop,” Tkachuk said. “The gunshot. And then I hear the screaming, ‘help, help. Please help.’”
Tkachuk sprang into action.
He says when he got involved, Almeida was pulling a knife on Haynes.
“I kick him a few times, told him to stop resisting,” Tkachuk told CBS 4 News. “I grab his hand, flip him, twist his arm in the back and sit on him.”
Both men were able to restrain Almeida and hold him down for about 15 minutes, while Lackore called 911.
“I have somebody down that kidnapped us,” she told a 911 operator. “I was teaching my son how to drive a stick and he kidnapped us. He made my son go on the highway.”
BSO says Almeida confessed to detectives.
“He said, ‘I’m not afraid to die.’ And ‘I’m not afraid to kill the cops.’ I told him, ‘Shut up,” Tkachuk said.
Tkachuk said he is proud to have played a role to help this mother and son.
“People ask help, you have to help,” he said. “Don’t ignore. If you ignore, you could be in the same situation. Then you’re going to begging for the help and if people ignore, that’s bad.”
The woman’s son was then taken to the Cleveland Clinic where he was treated for his injury.
Coleman-Wright spoke to the mother and son and was touched.
“To hear this 18-year old say that, sometimes he doesn’t know if he really believes in God, but yesterday he did and he felt as though he was his mother’s guardian angel and she, in turn, said that he was her hero,” said Coleman-Wright.
Almeida is expected to face attempted murder, armed carjacking and armed kidnapping charges.