by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:
ATLANTA - Atlanta police said a man known for disabling cars in exchange for quick cash has committed a more dangerous crime.
Ali Rodriguez said the man, known to police as Orlando Hernandez, approached him by his SUV parked outside a restaurant on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
"My transmission wouldn't shift. It wouldn't go in reverse, drive or anything," Rodriguez told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri.
He said he got out of the vehicle to investigate what was wrong and that's when he saw Hernandez climb out from underneath.
Rodriguez said Hernandez showed what appeared to be a gun and ordered him back into the car, robbed him of cash, his passport and license.
"I was talking to him in Spanish. I said, ‘Look don't hurt me. You can take anything you want. I just want to go,’" Rodriguez added. He said Hernandez told him to drive him to a gas station and get him cigarettes.
Surveillance video from the gas station showed the two walking into the store. Rodriguez said he wanted Hernandez to come with him so cameras could capture his image. After paying, the two walked back outside and got back in the vehicle.
"He let me go but before he said, ‘If you turn around I will shoot you,’" he said.
He said Hernandez walked off toward Boulevard.
Police have arrested Hernandez several times in recent years for tampering with vehicles.