Carjacking victim recounts frightening tale, escape

Royce Johnson

When officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department caught up with four pursuit suspects, they may have solved a crime spree involving district-wide carjackings.

The suspects drove a silver Chrysler 300 also identified by the woman who came face-to-face with two gunmen shortly after midnight. 

Charlotte and her boyfriend were just about to wrap up the weekend after attending his company Christmas party. They arrived at his home in the Parc Bordeaux Apartments on Thompson Road on the far south side of Indianapolis. Charlotte got into her SUV to warm it up as Kale started scraping ice off the windows. That's when two people carrying guns seemingly came out of nowhere surprising the couple.

But the cold and icy parking lot pavement may have helped foil the bad guys efforts.

"I don't think they expected the sidewalk and parking lot to be that slippery," said Charlotte, "so they both kind of like stumbled their way over to my SUV."

As they approached the vehicle, Charlotte put the SUV in reverse which automatically locked the doors. She feared for her life and for the safety of her boyfriend Kale, as well. Charlotte backed up as Kale kept one of the gunmen's attention on purpose, to help give Charlotte time to get away. 

But she feared the worse and could only think about getting help.

"What keeps replaying over and over again in my head is looking out my back window and I can see the outline of Kale with the gun to his head," said Charlotte. 

The driver in the Chrysler 300 tried to keep Charlotte from leaving, according to statements she gave police officers.

"I just gunned it and almost rammed their car but they backed up and let me out after initially trying to block me in," she said.

The second gunman realized Kale was empty-handed and jumped in the Chrysler which sped off. By that time, Charlotte had made it to a nearby gas station where she called 911 to report the attempted carjacking.

Later, an IMPD officer spotted the Chrysler 300 when the driver refused to stop. That led to a police chase, which eventually ended with four people arrested, including a 16-year-old boy identified by victims in at least one carjacking around the same time period. 

Officers arrested 20-year-old Tyrai Henning and a 16-year-old boy for robbery, along with Royce Johnson and Christopher Halsell on similar charges. Police believe the same people are responsible for a carjacking involving a Lexus. 

Charlotte has since learned the same people who attacked them may be responsible for the two other carjackings. She told Eyewitness News that her boyfriend got word from a detective that early indications are the suspects may not face formal charges for the attack on them, which she hopes to change by contacting the Marion County Prosecutors Office directly about their incident.

"I want the prosecutor to think about, 'If this was your daughter or son out would want to file charges'," she said.

Right now, IMPD investigators are still gathering information on the crime spree involving the suspects so they can present a case to the prosecutor for formal charges. Investigators will also look at similar crimes to see if the men and one juvenile may be connected to other violent incidents.