Car with baby inside involved in violent east Charlotte carjacking, police say

A mangled car and broken glass paint a picture of what happed in east Charlotte Thursday afternoon.

Police have charged Maurice Rakestraw, 29, with a violent carjacking that happened just before 1 p.m. on Albemarle Road. Police say an officer tried to make a traffic stop on a possible suspect vehicle when Rakestraw jumped out of the car and ran on foot.

An officer followed, but was unable to catch Rakestraw who then went into a parking lot where a woman and her one-year-old child were in a white Ford Taurus.

"We never did catch up to him until he crashed into the truck down behind us," said Cpt. Dave Harris with CMPD.

Police say Rakestraw forced her out of the car at gunpoint and took off before she was able to get her child out.

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Rakestraw sped away in the stolen vehicle, CMPD says, and eventually overturned at 2633 Eastway Drive. Moments later, officers got a report of an overturned vehicle in the area. 

“Officers thought they were just responding to car crash and then we put two and two together that this was the car from the carjacking," said Captain Dave Harris with CMPD. 

Thankfully, good Samaritans were able to get the baby out of the car safely.

"Luckily we had a responsible mom that had the baby strapped in properly otherwise we'd be dealing with a much different situation than just a bad guy in custody," Cpt. Harris said.

The baby and the mother were both taken to the hospital to be checked out, but are ok. 

The suspect, who was said to be armed, took off running through the woods before he was taken into custody by CMPD K-9 Units. 

"Unfortunately we see this a lot with criminals nowadays. They have no regard for public safety and all we can do is catch them and keep the public safe as long as we can," said Cpt. Harris. 

Rakestraw was charged with first degree kidnapping, three counts of armed robbery, felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor hit-and-run, felony flee to elude, larceny of motor vehicle, firearm by felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm on educational property, and resist/obstruct/delay.  he also had multiple outstanding warrants.