Three nearby arrests follow carjacking at Westgate Baptist

Three nearby arrests follow carjacking at Westgate Baptist

It’s after midnight. A young couple parks at Westgate Memorial Baptist Church, a place considered by many as a safe haven, to talk and say their goodbyes before going their separate ways for the evening. Suddenly, their peace is shattered when four men, one wielding a handgun, approach the vehicle and accost the pair, stealing their cell phones, car keys and the SUV the youth were occupying.

That’s was the scene Aug. 1 when police responded to the church at 6220 Westgate Drive, near Dowlen Road in Beaumont, after a neighborhood resident called and reported the young couple was at their door in distress.

The youthful victims told responding officers that they were sitting in the back of the SUV when four men approached and demanded cell phones and car keys from both. The male victim reportedly attempted to intervene and stop the robbery, but a gun-wielding assailant struck him in the head with the weapon. The victim tried again to intervene, and again was struck in the head with the gun. The four suspects then fled in the white 2002 Suburban, which was recovered Aug. 6 on Lynwood in Beaumont.

The victims described three of the suspects as males between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 and “skinny,” about 150 pounds and 15 to 16 years old. They described the fourth man who was carrying a black, semi-automatic handgun as bigger than the others.

As of Aug. 8, no one had been charged with the carjacking and robbery, but police may have already arrested the culprits for evading arrest a short distance away from, and merely minutes after, the incident at the church.

According to police, at 1:18 a.m. on Aug. 1 officers were in the 500 block of Dowlen Road and pulled into an apartment complex at 520 Dowlen Road, the Glen Oaks Apartments. They reportedly observed several young men pulling on door handles of vehicles to see if they were unlocked, a criminal trend being referred to as “car hopping.” (See page 10A to read more about car hopping.) When the men spotted the police, they attempted to flee from officers but were mostly unsuccessful. Three of the four suspects were soon apprehended and arrested for evading arrest. Police identified the three arrestees as 17-year-old Jacorry Green, also known as Korey Green, 17-year-old Stephen Michael Wilkerson and 20-year-old Deondre Guillory Briggs, all of Beaumont. All three have since bonded out of the Jefferson County Jail.

Detectives are currently searching for the fourth suspect and are investigating whether all or some of the same suspects arrested at Glen Oaks were also involved in the robbery and carjacking at the church. If so, additional charges would be filed.