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Carjacking foiled by screams for help

Carjacking foiled by screams for help
Carjacking foiled by screams for help
A handcuffed Aaron Grywalsky, left, waits as Kerry Freeberg, an investigator with the Harrison County SheriffÂ’s Dept., receives information from Harrison County Emergency Dispatch Monday afternoon in the parking lot in front of the Walmart Supercenter in Corydon. Grywalsky, of Ohio, allegedly attempted to carjack a woman and then fled when the woman began screaming for help. He and two women from Ohio were also charged with auto theft for allegedly stealing a car from Ohio on Saturday. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

Three people from Ohio are being held at the Harrison County Jail after an alleged attempt to carjack a woman failed Monday afternoon in the parking lot in front of the Walmart Supercenter in Corydon.
According to police, Aaron Grywalsky, 30, Sierra D. Gentry, 19, and Danielle Mason, 19, were traveling west on Interstate 64 in a 2000 Ford Taurus that was stolen in Lancaster, Ohio. Running low on fuel, they took the Corydon exit and drove south into the Walmart parking lot.
The trio went to Wendy’s to get something to eat, then returned to the parking lot at Walmart and allegedly started looking inside cars to see if there were any that may have had the keys in the ignition, which police say was how the Taurus was originally stolen Saturday from an elderly woman in Ohio.
Unsuccessful, the trio was able to get someone to use a truck to push the Taurus to the Five Star Food Mart across S.R. 135. Gentry and Mason stayed with the car while Grywalsky walked back to Walmart’s parking lot.
‘He approached a woman who had a 3-year-old child with her and told her he had a gun. He patted his pocket and told her he needed the keys to her car,’ Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. Chief Wayne Kessinger said. ‘She started screaming, screaming for help, and he ran off.’
After the confrontation, between rows seven and eight, Grywalsky ran across S.R. 135 toward Five Star. Several police officers combed the area and went inside businesses to see if they could find the would-be carjacker, who was described as being between 25 and 30 years old with short hair, wearing white shorts with a red stripe and a black T-shirt and having no facial hair. Several minutes passed with no luck in finding Grywalsky.
At about 2:20 p.m., Kessinger located a male who fit the physical description between Five Star and Arby’s, but the clothing wasn’t the same. Harrison County Emergency Dispatch relayed additional information that the male may have had two young females with him.
‘This guy was wearing tan shorts and no shirt and he had two girls with him. When I pulled in that area, the hood was up on the car and he was just messing with the car and looking around. One girl was in the front of the car and one in the back. Then, he moved the car over and it just didn’t look right,’ Kessinger said.
Officer Marty McClanahan placed Grywalsky in handcuffs, then HCSD Investigator Kerry Freeberg drove the alleged attacker to Walmart, where the victim made a positive identification of her attacker.
‘(Grywalsky) had changed clothes, and those articles, the white Ohio State shorts and the black T-shirt were located inside the car,’ Kessinger said.
During questioning, it was learned that the two females had been living in a homeless shelter until about a week ago when they met Grywalsky. The group was allegedly on its way to California when the adventure ended in Harrison County.
Grywalsky was to be charged with felony auto theft and attempted carjacking and misdemeanor intimidation, while Gentry and Mason were to be charged with felony auto theft. Initial court dates were not available as of press time yesterday (Tuesday).
Kessinger said the victim ‘absolutely did the right thing’ by screaming.
‘In a situation like that, in an area as busy as the Walmart parking lot, most of the time that’s probably the correct thing to do. You want to draw attention to yourself,’ Kessinger said. ‘Holler for help.’