Man trained in MMA thwarts carjackers in Virginia; 3 arrested

STAFFORD, Va. — A Virginia man trained in mixed martial arts helped thwart three men who attempted to hijack his car on Tuesday, authorities said.

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The three men allegedly hit the victim with a wooden stick outside a fitness center and took his keys, but were forced to flee when the man fought back after using his MMA training, WUSA reported. According to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the carjacking failed when one of the alleged hijackers was unable to drive the victim’s manual transmission vehicle.

“The suspect was stymied by the manual transmission and had no clue how to drive the car,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

The three men were identified as Jabez Clark, 19, of Stafford; Korey Richardson, 18, no address given; and Jacob Land, 20, of Norfolk, the sheriff’s office said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Clark was charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, malicious wounding, assault, vandalism and possession of burglary/robbery tools. Richardson was charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, eluding, reckless driving and hit and run. Land was charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy and vandalism.

The three men hit the man several times, but the victim fought back, WUSA reported.

When the men were unable to drive the victim’s car, they got back into their car -- a white Acura sedan with Mississippi license plates -- and drove away, The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg reported.

Sgt. R.K. Pinkard of the sheriff’s office located the suspect’s vehicle near Interstate 95 and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the men refused to stop and fled north on the interstate, WWBT reported. Deputies said speeds reached 98 mph during the chase.

The men entered a high-occupancy vehicle lane on the interstate by crashing through the barrier arm and drove north while traffic was heading south, the television station reported. The men exited the Acura two miles later and fled on foot through a wooded area, WUSA reported.

Deputies, along with the Virginia State Police and Quantico PMO used K-9s to find the men and set up a perimeter. One K-9, Titan, was able to go through the heavy brush and find the three men, the sheriff’s office said.

Two of the men complied with orders to stop and were taken into custody, the Lance-Star reported.

“The third suspect incorrectly judged his own speed or K-9 Titan’s speed and attempted to run away,” the sheriff’s office said on Facebook. “This attempt was futile as K-9 Titan was released and apprehended the suspect within 50 yards.”

All three men are being held at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond, WWBT reported. Before he was booked, Land was hospitalized to treat a dog bite, according to the Lance-Star.