An East Prospect man carjacked a Lexus in the parking lot of Central York Middle School Monday night, causing a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old brother to jump from the moving vehicle, police said.
Seventeen-year-old Jonny Sutton "ended up chasing the car all the way from the back of the school (nearly) to North Hills Road," according to his father, David Sutton of York Township, who owns the Lexus.
"It was a pretty intense night," David Sutton told The York Dispatch. "Thank God nobody was hurt."
"I don't think he knew what he was doing," Jonny said of the carjacker. "I just felt it was my duty to try to stop this man."
Crashed truck: About a half-hour before committing the carjacking, Jordan Walter Stein spurred a flurry of 911 calls by driving erratically through yards — hitting trash cans and clipping a utility pole — in the 1800 block of Ridgewood Road, according to Springettsbury Township Police Sgt. Brian Wilbur.
Stein, 23, of 9 N. Main St., is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment; one count each of robbery of a motor vehicle, robbery, DUI, theft and receiving stolen property; and three counts of hit and run, police said. He was arraigned Tuesday morning and is free on $100,000 bail.
According to charging documents, Stein crashed his red pickup truck in a ditch along Ridgewood Road while driving erratically, and badly damaged it. That was about 9:25 p.m., Wilbur said.
'Seemed confused': Witnesses told police Stein "seemed very confused," documents state, and one witness saw him fleeing the scene on foot.
As Springettsbury officers searched for Stein, they were alerted at 9:57 p.m. to the carjacking in the parking lot of Central York Middle School, 1950 North Hills Road. They were advised the carjacker matched the description of the hit-and-run driver, police said.
Jonny Sutton and his younger sister were sitting in their family's Lexus ES300, waiting for their parents to return to the car, when Stein got in and sat down in the driver's seat, documents state.
'No big deal': He "sat there like it was no big deal," according to charging documents, at one point turning around "like it was totally normal" and asking the siblings, "What?"
"I wasn't really sure what was going on at first," Jonny said.
That's when Stein put the car in reverse and started to back up, according to Wilbur.
"He literally was going to drive away with my kids in the car," David Sutton said. "The crazy thing about it was ... (Stein) just didn't seem to know where he was."
David Sutton said he had been inside the school until his wife came in to get him. Both were walking back to the car when they heard their daughter screaming.
Grabbed at robber: Jonny jumped out of the back seat of the car, ran around to the driver's side, opened the door and tried to pull Stein from the vehicle, injuring his thumb in the process, police said.
"I ... grabbed him by the arm and tried to pull him out," Jonny said. "It happened really quickly."
The teen continued running after his parents' stolen car after the carjacker took off, even kicking off his shoes so he could run faster.
David Sutton — who said he's extremely proud of his son for reacting quickly — joined the chase.
"We both were running alongside it," he said.
Girl jumped: His daughter managed to jump from the fleeing car, despite her foot's briefly becoming stuck, and was nearly hit by it.
"Thank God (Stein) decided to make a quick left at the last second, because he was headed right toward (her)," David Sutton said.
He said his family is still in shock.
"We got a couple hours of sleep," he said, but both kids went to school Tuesday anyway.
Jonny, a junior at Dallastown Area High School, confirmed he injured his thumb while struggling with Stein, but said it's merely a bruise.
"I'm pretty sure I hit it on the door of the car," he said.
The Suttons were at the school for Jonny's first AAU basketball practice of the year, his father said.
'Strange look': A witness told police he saw Stein prior to the carjacking, sitting crossed-legged in the boys' bathroom with a "strange look in his eyes," documents state. Stein would not lift up his head and appeared to be drunk, the witness reported.
Stein's brother, who lives on Farmbrook Lane in Manchester Township, helped police wrap up both the carjacking and the erratic-driving incident when he called police to say Stein had just shown up at the home in a Lexus that doesn't belong to him, police said.
Officers from Springettsbury Township and Northern York County Regional Police arrested Stein there without incident, Wilbur said.
'Anomaly': Central York School District spokeswoman Julie Randall Romig called the incident an anomaly.
A local youth organization was renting part of the school for basketball practice, she said. Although the rest of the school was locked and secure, it was up to the youth organization to determine how much security to have at the door, she said.
Had it been a school function or event, more security measures would have been in place, according to Romig.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.