Gainesville car wash employees help catch carjacking suspect

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Gainesville Police credit two car wash employees with helping catch a carjacking suspect.

Landrell Payne said he and Melvin Hall were drying someone's car at Xtreme Clean Auto Spa on Browns Bridge Road on Friday, July 1st, when they heard a woman near the vacuums screaming. "She was crying," Payne recalled.  "So, I asked her what was going on, what happened and she pointed at the guy going across the parking lot and said that he had tried to make her take her child out of the car and he was [going to] take her car from her."

Hall had already spotted the man trying to leave the property and went to stop him. "I just grabbed him and took him down and I started screaming that I was making a citizen's arrest and for someone to call the police," said Hall.

The two men held the suspect down for 10 to 15 minutes until Gainesville Police could arrive. "Seems like an eternity," Hall said.  "My arms [were] getting heavy." 

Gainesville Police arrested Eric Timothy Davidson, 27, and charged him with kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of methamphetamine and armed robbery. 

According to investigators, Davidson held up a man in the Walmart parking lot next door to the car wash just before the attempted carjacking. He remains in the Hall County Jail.

Hall and Payne said they just did what they thought was right without any concern for their own safety.

"It's nothing about what I did.  It's all by the grace of God. I didn't do anything.  I just happened to be there and was just man enough to step up," said Hall.  "I definitely hope that I never have to tackle anybody again, but if I do, I will wholeheartedly jump in."