BJJ student chokes out car jacking suspect
Michael McCoy Jr. was after a car, police say. He got the “Lion Killer” instead.
The 21-year-old is accused of attempting two carjackings Friday evening, the second on an elderly man. He might have gotten away if not for an observant passerby trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Josh Hagan was driving home from work when he noticed McCoy and dropped him to the ground in a move some call the “Lion Killer,” he said.
“I just wasn’t going to stand for that,” said Hagan, 35. “I knew what I was going to do right away and didn’t even think twice about it.”
A police report says McCoy accosted a couple just before 5 p.m. at the 7-Eleven gas station at 2010 E. Edgewood Drive.
Pamela Pedone, 25, was waiting in the car while her husband, Andrew Stevens, 27, pumped gas. Their three children, ages 2, 4 and 6, were in the back seat.
McCoy calmly asked for their car, Pedone said. They thought he was joking until he lunged inside and tried to grab the keys from Pedone’s hand.
“I was more concerned about my children,” she said.
Her husband grabbed McCoy and they struggled, the report says. McCoy stopped and picked his sunglasses from the ground. Then he pointed at Stevens.
“You messed with the wrong person,” said McCoy, the report says. He headed to a nearby Winn-Dixie grocery store.
Hagan, who had witnessed the incident at the 7-Eleven, followed McCoy and pulled into the parking lot and watched as McCoy tried to enter other vehicles, the police report said.
The report says McCoy approached John Teaff, 75, and grabbed the keys from his pocket.
Hagan got out of his car and ran full speed at McCoy. He put him in a move similar to a sleeper hold, threading his forearms around McCoy’s neck.
“I just blitzkrieged him from behind,” Hagan said.
McCoy struggled intensely and passed out for about 30 seconds, Hagan said. Police arrived about five minutes later.
Hagan, a carpenter by trade, began training five years ago with local instructor Fabio Novaes. Hagan thanked his teacher after the incident.
“It was really easy to take him down,” Hagan said.
Pedone never got to thank Hagan personally. She was happy to know McCoy was caught.
“I wish there were more people like that,” she said.