A former 26-year city patrolman testified Tuesday in General Sessions Court against being carjacked at a washateria in North Chattanooga.
After the testimony by Wayne Hindman, a charge of carjacking was bound to the Grand Jury against James Jerome Eastman, 23.
Eastman is facing a slew of charges, and it is expected that his cases will be taken to a federal grand jury.
Police say he robbed a bank, a nail salon and committed one other carjacking in early June. He was eventually taken into custody at a motel on Williams Street.
Former patrolman Hindman said he had worked a job at Memorial Auditorium, then went to the Fabric Care Laundry at 315 Cherokee Blvd. about 10 p.m. He said a woman was also in the laundry.
He said he was walking to get some clothes hangers when a black male approached him with a gun and said, "Give me the keys." He said he told the man no, then he said, "I'm going to blow your head off. I'm going to kill you."
He said he handed over the keys as the woman in the laundromat was lying on the floor screaming. He said the man was wearing some type of Smurf hat and a painter's mask.
The former patrolman said the gunman then drove off in his 2002 Jeep Cherokee. It was found the next day not far away in the middle of Spears Avenue. He said it did not appear to be damaged, and his two handguns were still inside along with a third gun, which appeared to match the one the gunman pulled on him. A Smurf hat and painter's mask were in the Jeep. He said the vehicle seemed okay, but the motor went out a couple of weeks later.
Detective Dale Taylor said the carjacker ran from the vehicle into a nearby storm drain. He said he followed him along with a K-9 for three blocks in the drain, but he got away.
He said the carjacker was wearing a gray sweatsuit, and a similar outfit that was partially soaked was found at the home of Eastman's cousin at 510 Spears Ave.
Investigators said they believe that Eastman is responsible for additional robberies in the Highway 58, Brainerd, and Hixson areas.
Police said on May 29 that a black male who gave his name as "Tony" called Kay's Nail Salon at 5502 Hixson Pike. He said he wanted a pedicure and asked when was closing time.
Police said the man, who employees have identified as Eastman, got the pedicure and then went into the men's restroom. He emerged wielding a handgun and pointed it at two employees. He got back the $40 he had just paid plus $20 from one employee and $200 plus credit cards from another.
A couple who were sitting in a vehicle outside the nail salon gave chase. They said Eastman was driving a gray Dodge Challenger in a reckless fashion and ran two red lights. He got away after making a right turn onto Cassandra Smith Road.
The other carjacking was at 312 McBrien Road. A 2005 Dodge Dakota was taken.
That vehicle was spotted at the Hampton Inn on Williams Street. Eastwood was arrested inside one of the motel rooms on a federal warrant.