A wanted man who led Arizona police on a car chase should have thought twice before trying to carjack a motorcycle after pulling the driver off.
The motorcyclist was Brandon Jenkins, a combat veteran of the Afghanistan war and no stranger to dangerous situations like the one he found himself in on Thursday.
While waiting at a stoplight with other motorists in Mesa, Jenkins was approached from behind as the fugitive, Joshua Michael Monigold, jumped out of his white pick up truck and attempted to steal the bike, reported ABC15. Jenkins, who purchased the motorcycle with money he earned from his time in the military, was not about to go down without a fight.
“I had instincts that kicked in and where I’ve been in life I learned to defend myself,” he told ABC15. “And I don’t back down from anybody.”
Video from a police helicopter caught the scene as Jenkins fought back and threw Monigold off the motorcycle. The suspect, running out of time, gave up fighting with the vet and jumped back into his truck.
Jenkins was not aware of what was happening, thinking he might have cut the suspect off and “rubbed him the wrong way.” When he determined that Monigold was unarmed, he continued to fight him off, even headbutting the would-be carjacker.
“I knew my head was safe, I knew my hands were safe,” said Jenkins, referring to the motorcycle gear he was wearing. “I knew I was good to just go after him.”
Unfortunately, Monigold ran over the motorcycle as he took off in the truck and Jenkins believes it is totaled. The suspect, who was wanted for a hit-and-run crash on March 19 and had 17 prior arrests, was caught by police after crashing his pickup truck a short time later.
“I would have swung a little bit harder,” said Jenkins, who plans to press charges. But as the father of a two-year-old son, Jenkins discouraged others from doing what he did, according to ABC15.
“Just take a step back, let them take it,” he said. “You can replace your vehicle, you can’t replace your life.”