Police: Man just released from prison tried to carjack Uber driver at airport

ATLANTA — It was a wild scene at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s parking area Sunday night when a man tried to carjack an Uber driver, robbed a traveler and set off a manhunt, police said.

Channel 2 Action News learned that officers were called to the south curb of the airport after a driver called 911.

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach talked to the passenger who was in the Uber when the man tried to steal the car. She recorded cellphone video after calling 911.

“I called the police, they said they’d come down but there weren't any. It was shocking," the witness said.

A Delta Air Lines worker and other travelers tried to get the man out of the car while they waited for police to arrive. After they waited for more than five minutes, one passenger took matters into his own hands.


"A traveler walked up and went to the driver’s side and started punching the guy in the face and pulling him out of the car and he finally got him out," the witness said. "They tussled, fought a little bit and he ran.”

The passenger said the suspect gave up after he couldn't get the car into gear.

Officers found a suspect, identified as 37-year-old Richard Parham Jr., close by in the south parking deck. Police said Parham ripped a purse from a Delta Air Lines passenger and ran.

The officers then set up a perimeter and later found a man hiding the bed of the pickup truck parked in the south parking deck.

Police said they tracked Parham down by using the Uber driver's stolen iPhone.

The man was arrested after a short struggle, police said. Parham had just been released from pison the day before.

He’s now locked up again on a long list of new charges.