Video: Minn. cop on vacation thwarts man attempting to carjack him

A carjacker picked the wrong vehicle Saturday in Florida

By Bob Shaw
Pioneer Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A carjacker picked the wrong vehicle Saturday in Orlando, Fla.

Vacationing Brian Franck was at the wheel — vacationing Cottage Grove police officer Brian Franck, that is.

"It was like, 'Welcome to Orlando,' " Franck said Monday, two days after a man tried to force his way into the van he and his family had rented and were driving away from the airport.

Airport police quickly arrived with pepper spray and Tasers but couldn't subdue the would-be carjacker. So Franck jumped out of the van and wrestled him to the pavement. He held him until the man could be handcuffed and arrested.

Franck suffered only a skinned knee and a torn pair of pants.

"Franck was in the right place at the right time to help us out," said Orlando Police Lt. Barbara Jones.

Jones said Jelan Adizas Boyd, 20, of Cincinnati was arrested and charged with grand theft and resisting arrest.

About 11 a.m., Franck had just landed for a vacation with his wife and two children. With them were Franck's friend Todd Chambliss, who manages the Daily Deals program for the Pioneer Press, and his wife and child.

They all piled into the van to leave the airport.

A car rental employee said they had just missed an attempted car theft. The thief apparently tried to drive the car over the road spikes near an exit and was forced to stop, then ran off.

"We saw the car, sitting there with four flats," Chambliss said Monday.

Right after that, the man approached the van. "Then a bike cop came flying up with his gun drawn," Chambliss said.

The families in the van watched, horrified, as the man dashed toward the rear passenger side door, where Franck's 8-year-old son was sitting.

According to Chambliss, the man was able to open the door slightly, but Franck reached back, yanked the door shut and locked it.

"The family was yelling and screaming," Franck said. "My daughter was crying. My son was crying."

The man pulled repeatedly on the door handle. Meanwhile, officers hit him with pepper spray.

When that didn't work, they hit him with a Taser. But that didn't work, either, said Franck.

The carjacker stepped away from the van with both hands in his pockets, said Franck — a possible sign that he had a weapon.

Franck jumped out of the car and threw a headlock on him, even as he choked from the pepper spray in the air. "I think the pepper spray had more effect on me than it did on him," Franck said.

He said the carjacker was about 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed about 200 pounds. They wrestled on the ground "for a minute or two," said Franck.

"He was shady as hell, all twitchy and weird," said Chambliss, who jumped out to help subdue the man. "He was fighting even after the cuffs were on. He kicked the police car."

Franck, 43, is a six-year veteran officer in Cottage Grove and worked three years as a Washington County sheriff's deputy. He said he has had to struggle with suspects in the past — but never while on vacation.

"It was kind of a big deal," Franck said. "I felt like I was at work."

Copyright 2015 the Pioneer Press

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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