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Man Arrested For Shooting At Teens He Caught Inside Wife’s Stolen Car

New Orleans, LA – A man who shot at three juvenile car thieves after seeing them inside his wife’s stolen vehicle on Tuesday has been arrested on multiple charges.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) said Reginal Charles, the husband of the woman whose vehicle had been stolen, spotted the car in the Algiers neighborhood on June 20 and chased after it, WVUE reported.

The driver ultimately crashed in the 1700-block of Shirley Drive, at which point Charles jumped out of his vehicle and fired two rounds into his wife’s stolen car, according to police.

At least one of the bullets struck a 14-year-old suspect, WVUE reported.

The teen managed to flee the scene but later turned up at a local hospital with a hand injury and a graze wound to the head.

Charles apprehended a 17-year-old suspect at the scene of the crash and allegedly hit the suspect with his gun, according to police.

He then restrained the teen until police arrived at the scene, WVUE reported.

The third suspect who had been inside the stolen car managed to escape and fled the area prior to officers’ arrival.

The NOPD said the 17-year-old and the wounded 14-year-old will be charged with possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a movable, and auto theft, WVUE reported.

Charles was arrested on one count of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated battery.

A similar incident unfolded in Bellerose, New York, last month, but that confrontation turned deadly.

Jacob Alvarenga Mejia, 28, was inside his home on Jericho Turnpike at about 1:30 a.m. on May 13 when he spotted three suspects attempting to steal the rims and tires off of his 2023 Toyota Highlander parked out front, WABC reported.

“Mr. Mejia was a victim of a catalytic converter theft two months prior that enraged him to the point that when this was happening, he went outside and took matters too far,” Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) Detective Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick told the news outlet.

Investigators said Mejia grabbed a large kitchen knife and walked outside to confront the thieves, WABC reported.

During the encounter, he allegedly stabbed one of the suspects multiple times in the torso.

The suspect showed up at a hospital for treatment but did not survive, WABC reported.

Mejia was arrested on May 25 on charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, the NCPD said in a press release.

He had no prior criminal history, WABC reported.

Mejia’s bond was set at $1 million.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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