81-year-old fights off 30-year-old carjacker at gas station near Charlotte

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Monday, July 18, 2022
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Clearance Jones, 81, said he is still sore from his tug-of-war with a would-be carjacker, 30-year-old Jaren Clinton, on Thursday outside Charlotte.

GASTONIA, N.C. (WTVD) -- An 81-year-old fought off a carjacker near Charlotte on July 14.

Clearance Jones said he is still sore from his tug-of-war with the would-be carjacker, 30-year-old Jaren Clinton.

Clinton was on the run from police after reportedly stealing a car earlier in the day. With police hot on his tail he ditched the car at a Citgo on Bessemer City Road in Gastonia and looked for another car to steal.

About this time, Jones was about to get out of his red Kia in the parking lot of the same Citgo.

Jones said Clinton grabbed his door with one hand and used the other to reach through the car window and grab Jones by the shirt.

"He was cussing, and he tried to come to snatch my door on the right side," Jones said in an interview with local ABC affiliate WSOC. "When he went to pull it, I pulled it. I just got so mad. And whatever it was, I just tried to do the best I can."

Jones quickly threw his Kia in reverse, then quickly slammed on the brakes and accelerated forward. The abrupt back and forth caused Clinton to lose his grip.

"If I wasn't for the Lord I don't know what would have happened. I'm going to tell you something, it's bad. It's bad," Jones said. "He was trying to pull the door open and me too. I was lucky. I just thank God to get the help and strength."

Police caught up with and arrested Clinton a short time later. He was booked into jail on a $250,000 bail.