PE businessman catches alleged hijacker
Suspect allegedly tried to hijack truck in full view of plain-clothed detectives
A Port Elizabeth businessman chased down a hijacking suspect, floored him with a brick and held him until police picked him up minutes later.
The dramatic chase took place after the suspect allegedly tried to hijack a truck in full view of plain-clothed detectives.
The hijacking took place at about 1.45pm on Thursday when a truck travelling in Commercial Road, Sidwell slowed down on nearing the N2 on ramp.
According to police, two men ran towards the truck and flung open the passenger door, forcing the driver out of the vehicle at gunpoint.Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said unbeknownst to the hijackers two detectives in an unmarked police car had stopped right behind the truck.
“The vehicle was still moving, but slowing down when the two men ran and opened the passenger door.
“The two police sergeants, who were behind the truck, saw the men running towards the vehicle and the driver jumping out.
“The suspects then tried to drive away, at which time the police officials were already out of the car with their firearms drawn,” she said.
“The vigilant officials sprung into action and approached the truck as the suspects attempted to drive off.
“A warning shot was fired as one of the suspects had a firearm in his hand.
“The truck stalled and the men abandoned their attempt to drive off.
“When they jumped out of the truck, one of the suspects pointed a firearm at police officials prompting them to fire at the suspects.”
Naidu said that, in a panic, the two hijackers attempted to run away towards the nearby buildings bordering Commercial Road.
“A chase ensued and shots were fired by police as the suspects attempted to evade arrest.
“During the pursuit, the suspects split up in different directions, however one of them was shot and injured.”
Businessman Murray Gill, 29, who runs family business Gillco Labels in Commercial Road, was alerted to the hijacking when staff members ran into the factory.
“I was in my factory and one of my staff members came running inside saying there was a shooting outside.
“I ran outside and saw these people chasing a man down the road towards my shop.
“He was shot but still trying to run away.
“During the foot pursuit the suspect fell down outside my shop.
“By that stage there was a bunch of people outside watching,” he said.
“We then stood watching him while the police ran off to find the second suspect.“As the police left, the man jumped up and tried to run away.
“I chased after him down the road and into Wilson Street where I managed to tackle him to the ground.”
Gill said during the chase he had managed to pick up a brick.
“As I tackled him and he went to the ground, I hit him over the head with the brick to try keep him on the ground.
“He stayed lying down until the police came back minutes later,” he said.
While the chase was under way the police K9 Unit found the second suspect, armed with a firearm, hiding in a metal cage, covered with cardboard, inside one of the business yards.
In the interim, the truck driver had jumped into the truck and sped off.
“Sometime during the chase, the truck driver jumped back into the vehicle and sped off,
“Perhaps the truck driver did not know that it was police officials assisting him," Naidu said.
“We are still attempting to locate him to ascertain what exactly was being transported and where he was going when the hijacking took place.”
Both suspects have been arrested for the attempted murder of the police officers, with additional charges to be added at a later stage.
The wounded man was taken to Livingstone Hospital for treatment and will remain under police guard.
The men are due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Monday.