Victim grabs gunman’s phone — and uses it to negotiate his release, Missouri cops report

While a man was sitting in his car, a gunman came up to him, St. Louis police wrote in a report.

The gunman then used a firearm to tap on the driver-side window on Monday evening, the victim told police, according to the report. The victim told police the gunman ordered him to get out of his car and turn over his keys.

The victim said he did get out of his car, but he would not give his keys to the man with a gun, police said. The victim was identified by KSDK as Jonathan Neukomm, a bartender who had gone out to his car. He works at Square One Brewery and Distillery.

The victim said the gunman pointed his gun at his feet and “pulled the trigger several times,” according to the report. But the gun wouldn’t fire, he told police.

Taking advantage of the moment, Neukomm said he threw his keys. The gunman ran and got them — but dropped his phone, the victim told police, according to their report.

Neukomm grabbed the phone — and used it as a negotiating tool, he told police.

“Just give me the keys, I’ll give you your phone. We can both just run,” he recalled saying, according to KSDK.

It worked, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The gunman traded the keys for his phone before running away, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The man didn’t get away with any of the victim’s belongings, police said, and the victim wasn’t injured.

Police are still investigating, and the department does not have an identified suspect.

Joe Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, told ABC News he doesn’t recommend fighting back against carjackers, the station reported in 2015.

“Just let him take the property,” he said, according to ABC. “Dying for property is never the way to go. If the person you’re with is in some physical danger — all bets are off at this point — you have to fight but when it just comes to protecting your own property let it go and replace it.”

Neukomm said what he did was “probably stupid,” KSDK reported, and he doesn’t recommend negotiating with a carjacker.

Kaitlyn Alanis is based out of Kansas and reports on news from across the Midwest region. She has been at The Wichita Eagle since 2017.