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MMA-trained man fights back against hapless carjackers who still manage to get in car but can’t steal it — because crook behind wheel doesn’t drive stick

Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned, feel-good carjacking story every once in a while?

More than likely everybody — save for three men who probably should’ve stayed home Tuesday instead of venturing to the Anytime Fitness in Stafford, Virginia, allegedly in search of a free ride.

What happened?

Stafford County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the gym for a disturbance just before 5 p.m., WUSA-TV reported, adding that multiple callers reported that three men had attacked another man and tried to steal his car.

The three men hit their victim several times with a wooden stick, the station reported, but the victim — trained in mixed martial arts — fought back.

Amid the three-against-one fight, an attacker still managed to get hold of the victim’s car keys, and he jumped in the vehicle, WUSA said.

Oops

But it turns out the attacker behind the wheel wasn’t going anywhere. The station, citing deputies, said he had no idea how to operate a manual transmission.

What’s more, a number of gym members saw what was happening and rushed outside to help, WUSA said, and so the trio got back into the vehicle they used to drive there and took off.

They didn’t get too far, though, as deputies learned the suspects were driving a white Acura sedan with Mississippi plates, the station said — and soon a deputy spotted them and tried to pull them over on Garrisonville Road near Interstate 95.

But rather than cutting their already embarrassing losses, the trio opted to hightail it north on I-95, according to WUSA.

From bad to worse

Deputies told the station the chase reached speeds of nearly 100 mph — and then near mile marker 145, the suspects crashed through the barrier arm and veered into the high-occupancy vehicle lanes. What’s more they continued north for about two miles in wrong direction, the Free Lance-Star reported.

Stafford Sheriff’s Maj. Shawn Kimmitz on Wednesday clarified to TheBlaze that the HOV lanes in the area are in the middle of the freeway — and switch one-way directions in the morning and evening rushes. So the suspects were driving north into southbound traffic at the time.

He told the paper it was “miraculous” they didn’t cause an accident

While the suspects finally stopped on their own, they all took off on foot into a wooded median between the HOV lanes and the southbound lanes, WUSA said.

Authorities set a perimeter, and a K-9 and his handler tracked down the suspects through the heavy brush and found the three suspects, the station said.

They were ordered to give up, or the K-9 would be deployed, WUSA said, adding that only two of the suspects complied.

The unkindest bite of all

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

WUSA said the suspects were identified as 19-year-old Jabez Clark, 18-year-old Korey Richardson, and 20-year-old Jacob Land. The station added that Clark is charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, malicious wounding, assault, vandalism, and possession of burglary tools; Richardson is charged with carjacking, robbery, conspiracy, eluding, reckless driving, and hit and run; Land is charged with carjacking robbery, conspiracy, and vandalism.

All three still were being held Wednesday without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford.

Land briefly was taken to a hospital for treatment of a dog bite, WUSA said.

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