GAINESVILLE — Landrell Payne said “everything started from a scream.”
Payne, the manager at Xtreme Clean Auto Spa on Browns Bridge Road, and employee Melvin Hall looked around noon Friday at the Gainesville business to intervene when a man attempted to hijack a woman’s car while her toddler was in the backseat.
Eric Timothy Davidson, 27, of Gainesville, is accused in the incident, according to police.
The woman was vacuuming her Toyota Yaris while her child was in a safety seat in the back of the car.
Davidson allegedly fought with the woman, got inside the car and put it in drive, authorities said.
Hall was drying off a truck when he heard a scream and saw the man walking away from the woman.
“I’m running across the lot screaming at Melvin to stop that guy,” Payne said.
The employees held Davidson in a headlock, Hall said, until police arrived. Police said Davidson was in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and a revolver.
“Some pretty tall guys were at the vacuum cleaner back there. They stepped over to help us out, too,” Payne said.
Gainesville Police had been dispatched earlier to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Browns Bridge Road, where authorities said Davidson allegedly approached a man at the gas pumps.
According to the warrants, Davidson is accused of demanding the man’s wallet, keys and cellphone by threat of a firearm in his pocket.
Davidson was booked last week in to the Hall County Jail, where he remained as of Thursday.
He has been charged with attempted kidnapping, attempted motor vehicle hijacking, attempted armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of methamphetamine.
“I’m not a hero,” said Hall, who has been with the business for about six months. “I’m just a guy that didn’t want to see somebody hurt.”