DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Belle Meade Police caught a teenager Thursday evening, charged with stealing a pickup truck. Investigators say the 19-year-old is very lucky to be uninjured, however, after throwing himself off a 20-foot parking garage.
The crime happened around 5 p.m. at the Belle Meade Galleria, much of the drama captured on dash cam.
Video showed 19-year-old Deontae Majors-Lawrence bail out of the driver’s seat, run to the railing at the rear of the parking structure, then hop over the rail, disappearing.
Police estimated the drop was 20 feet, the area below the railing is rocky and jagged beside a creek.
“He is very fortunate he didn’t lose his life. Or become permanently disabled. He’s very lucky to be alive,” said Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eads.
Minutes before, the pickup truck was flagged on one of the city’s many license plate recognition cameras as a stolen Ford F-150 out of Clarksville. Officers were on top of the call almost immediately.
Master Police Officer Keith Samol quickly got behind the fleeing truck. The pursuit was brief, and speeds were not fast.
The chase ended when Majors-Lawrence pulled into the Belle Meade Galleria which dead-ends at the rear of the parking garage on the upper level. An unknown man in the passenger seat bailed first, hopping the fence.
The man was followed by Majors-Lawrence. But as the teenage driver got out, he reached toward his waistband and that’s when MPO Samol pulled his service weapon.
“Get in the car! Stay in the car! I’ll shoot you!” yelled Samol.
“As he was exiting the vehicle, officer Samol did transmit that he was going for his waistband. He put out there was a possible gun. He didn’t see a gun. It is an action of a suspect if they are reaching for their waistband they could be armed so he put that out,” said Chief Eads.
Video showed that the officer very quickly re-holstered his gun, just in time to watch the two suspects make a daring jump for safety.
Thanks to assistance from Metro Police Air 1, Majors-Lawrence was found hiding nearby and was arrested by Belle Meade officers scouring the creek bank.
“We are glad that nobody was seriously hurt,” said Eads.
Majors-Lawrence is now behind bars charged with felony theft $10,000-$60,000. He is also charged with resisting arrest, evading arrest, and having no license. He’s in Metro Jail on a $32,000 bond. He only suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment before going to jail.
Belle Meade are also looking for his alleged accomplice in the passenger seat who got away.