Clutch! Cleveland carjacking stalled by manual transmission

Police say the suspects demanded the car owner explain how to drive it.

A young Cleveland carjacking suspect is in custody after a 10-day crime spree was brought to a screeching halt by a manual transmission.

According to, Damari Wayne was on quite a roll last month when the 18-year-old and others stole three cars at gunpoint on Cleveland's west side. The first was a 2004 Nissan taken from a man in a CVS parking lot. Wayne was picked up soon after and posted bond.

After a short hiatus, police said, Wayne and a partner – an unnamed 17-year-old – went out with an airsoft pistol, approached a woman getting out of her car at a Walgreen's, and pulled the gun, then sped away without harming the car's owner.

An hour later, police said, they approached a man in a parked car, starting a strange series of events in which the hapless pair discovered that the car had a manual transmission, forced their victim to explain the arcane workings of said transmission at gunpoint, and when neither could figure it out, they ran off with the driver's cellphone.

Cleveland police later tracked the stolen phone to a train in a nearby station, and the transit authority locked down the car, trapping the two inside. Officers said they discovered the airsoft pistol, the stolen phone, and keys to both stolen cars in the train car.

Wayne was charged with three counts of aggravated robbery and jailed on $100,000 bond, which may limit his opportunities to learn to drive stick.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X