by: Mark Becker, Glenn Counts Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police say three armed men carjacked a former Marine in the parking lot at Ed's Tavern in the Dilworth neighborhood Monday night.
One suspect is in custody, and police spent hours Tuesday afternoon searching for a second they believe fell into Irwin Creek. The third man is still on the run.
The Charlotte Fire Department said there were no plans Wednesday to go back out to the creek and search for the suspect.
Officers responded around 11:30 p.m. Monday to a carjacking call at Ed’s Tavern.
Ed's Tavern is an institution with a very loyal clientele.
Alexa Krost, who is a regular customer along with her boyfriend, was surprised to learn about the carjacking.
"It's a great spot. I really enjoy coming here,” Krost said. “It could have been me walking out. It could have been anybody I know. It's unfortunate that happened to anybody."
Police said a 31-year-old ex-Marine went to get some food because the power had gone out in his apartment.
As he was leaving, he was approached by three men with guns, police said.
Police said a short time later, officers located a red sedan used during the carjacking and initiated a traffic stop, but the driver took off and there was a short chase.
The two people in the car jumped and ran from the vehicle at South Clarkson Street at the I-77 South ramp, officers said.
Officers took one of the suspects, Jerry McCorey, into custody. He is charged with armed robbery and fleeing to elude police.
Officers didn't find the second suspect, but found footprints and belongings at the edge of Irwin Creek, off West Morehead Street and Freedom Drive. Police said the creek had swelled to 7 to 8 feet high during Monday night's storms.
"It’s a shame that happened,” customer Ramsey Marra said. “We don't know for sure he is dead, though if he is, I hate it. Never wish that on anybody."
Police and firefighters spent Tuesday morning searching the creek near Barringer Drive, but ended the search.
"I would say it’s very unlikely, just from my experience. On this rapid water, swift water, at that speed and depth, it takes you where it wants to go, when it wants to take you and how it wants to take you. It's not very forgiving,” Maj. Gerald Smith, of the CMPD, said.
Investigators said they located the victim’s vehicle at a home in the Wilmore neighborhood through the OnStar system, but could not find the other suspect.
Marco Astopilco, who has owned a beauty salon in the area for 12 years, said he is not worried about this area taking a hit over one high-profile crime.
"I've very surprised that happened, but you know the Dilworth area is real quiet,” Astopilco said. “It’s a nice place to work. That’s why I love to work here."
CMPD officers are asking anyone who may have information on the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
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