Police still searching for man who tried to force joggers into car at gunpoint in Steele Creek area

- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are still searching for a man accused of trying to force women into a car at gunpoint near Steele Creek Tuesday morning.

According to CMPD, the suspect pulled up next to a woman who was running in the 1500 block of York Road about 7:48 a.m., pointed a gun at her, and demanded that she get into his vehicle. The woman was able to run to a safe location and call 911.

About an hour later, police say the same suspect approached a second woman jogging in the 5900 block of Dixie River Road. The man pointed a gun at the victim and her her to get inside his car. The woman was able to flag down a nearby passerby where she called 911. Neither victim was injured. 

The suspect was driving a tan 1999 Mercedes Benz when he approached the woman. The car had been reported stolen on July 1.

Police say the suspect crashed his car on Performance Rd., the car caught fire and he then took off on foot. Investigators believe he may have approached trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. 

All whitewater trails around the U.S. National Whitewater Center were shutdown due to safety concerns and there was a heavy police presence in the area.

Officers could be seen wearing tactical gear and carrying rifles, searching business parks, fields, wooded areas and waterways where the suspect may have been hiding. Air support was also called in.

WATCH: Update from CMPD on search for suspect

"There is just a tremendous amount of moving parts, a lot of different angles and a lot of texture to this thing," one officer said.
 
Officers are posted along the highway aiming rifles over the I-85 bridge near the Belmont-Mount Holly exit.
 
"Tjhis has definitely made me very concerned for going out venturing further from our house," said Heather Castic, a resident of the Steele Creek area. "It's close to home and not normal for this area, we don't get a lot of crime in this area"
 
Castic said she passed six police cars in a three mile radius when she left her home Tuesday afternoon. She and other families who live near where the joggers were approached this morning are hoping he's found before nightfall. 
 
"We have a lot of trails and people who ride bikes and moms who go take walks w their kids and stuff" i hope they found him yes i was pleased they had a license plate and a full description -- i thought with the police presence-- there was a good chance they'd find him soon," said Castic.
 
The suspect is described as a light skinned Hispanic male, approximately 20-30 years-old, with straight black hair and was last seen wearing a black shirt. He is still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous.
 
Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

 

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