PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police are searching for two men who pistol-whipped a 40-year-old Lyft driver during a carjacking. The incident happened shortly after 5 a.m. on the 300 block of South 59th Street in West Philadelphia on Saturday.
Investigators say it appears the suspects were searching for a target and when they spotted the man parked and distracted on his phone, they decided to strike.
Anthony Broxton, of Lansdowne, was finishing up his shift when he became the victim of a terrifying crime. Police say two teenagers, who were driven by a third, saw the idling car and decided they wanted it.
The two forced the man out of his vehicle and pointed a handgun at him.
“They yanked open my door, the one kid had a gun pointed on me. The other kid was like ‘what do you got in your hand?’ and snatched my phone,” Broxton said.
“A little struggle ensues. He’s trying to close the door, the victim. They hit him with the firearm. They get him out of the car and they put him on his knees and go through his pockets, take his cell phone,” Captain Frank Milillo, with Southwest Detectives, said.
And then they sped off with a third suspect close behind in a new model Jeep Compass or Cherokee.
“It’s a shame. These kids these days, they don’t have any respect for nobody,” neighbor Tatiana Reed said.
The carjacking took place in front of a church on 59th near Spruce Street in West Philadelphia around 5 a.m. this past Saturday.
Tatiana Reed lives nearby and says this crime is just another reason why she’s concerned about her safety.
“Right in front of the church — no respect. I walk around with my kids every day, all day. I don’t even go to my grandma’s house and she lives on that block right there ’cause I’m scared,” Reed said.
Milillo says investigators have recovered the stolen vehicle — a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer.
“Hopefully we’ll get some evidence out of that car, which can point us in the right direction,” Milillo said.
All the while, police are hoping someone recognizes the two suspects who police think are between 16 and 18 years old.
“We really need the public to take a look at it and give us a call,” Milillo said.
“They need to reevaluate their lives. They need to do something better than what they’re doing now,” Broxton said of the suspects.
Police say both men are about 5-foot-8 with thin builds.
Eyewitness News reached out to Lyft and a spokesperson says they’ve reached out to the driver to offer support.