Mark Lavin said he will never forget the experience he had the night of Dec. 27 when his car was struck on the way home from a quiet evening, and later he and his wife were held at gunpoint.
Lavin said he was taking a nap on the way home and woke up when the car his wife was driving was struck.
“I asked if she hit something,” Lavin said. His wife told him they were struck.
He said he told his wife to follow the car so he could write down the license information.
Lavin said the car they were following came to such an abrupt stop that his wife could not stop before passing the car.
He said when he stopped, the car that had struck them sped away.
Lavin said the car got away from them on Elbert Arnsdorff Road.
“He was going too fast on that road,” he said.
Lavin had already called the police, and when he and his wife came across the vehicle turned upside down, he said the dispatcher told him to go to the next house to find out the location so emergency crews could be given the address.
He said he went to the next house with a light on and asked for help with a location.
Lavin then decided to return to the scene of the overturned car.
“I thought it might be a kid that was scared,” he said.
Lavin and his wife returned to the accident, along with the resident whose home he had stopped at.
He said at the scene he was looking to see if there was anyone when he heard a voice.
The man who had hit them was in front of them with a gun telling them to give him their money.
The person in the vehicle had already told Lavin’s wife to give him her money, and she had told him she didn’t have any.
The man — later identified as authorities as Jackie Allen Thorne of Newington — approached Lavin and told him and the neighbor to give him his money.
Lavin said the neighbor handed his money to the man , and he handed his cell phone to his wife while he pulled out his wallet.
“He told me to take the blanking money out of the wallet, he just wanted the cash,” Lavin said.
The man then took the neighbor’s car.
Lavin said he has always stopped to help when he sees an accident.
“I have up until now,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to anymore.”
He said the experience “took the wind out” of his sails.
“The idea of being held at gun point …” Lavin said. “It’s nowhere near over with yet.
“I walked away — that’s a bonus,” he said.
Thorne eventually surrendered to police after a standoff. He faces several charges in connection with the events.