Dan Floyd Hillard and Jenon R. Walker needed a ride to the bus stop, and they got one--in a delivery truck while the delivery driver held on for dear life in the back.
Now, 42-year-old Hillard of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is in a Costa Mesa jail cell, where he is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail on kidnapping and vehicle theft charges.
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The unidentified driver had stopped to make a delivery at the Chevron gas station at Harbor Boulevard and Gisler Avenue around 8 this morning. He was in the back of the truck and his keys were still in the ignition when he felt the truck moving. Looking around the corner toward the cab, the driver locked eyes with an unknown man later identified as Hillard, according to a statement from Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Phil Myers.
As the truck pulled away, the worker who should have been behind the wheel called police via his cell phone. He was able to describe key points along the route simply by looking out his back door--while holding on to the mobile with one hand and for dear life with the other--no small feat. That is, when he was not banging on the walls of the truck hoping the unauthorized driver would stop.
Fortunately, it was a short trip, for about five minutes later the truck stopped at the other side of the 405 freeway at the IKEA furniture store at Harbor and South Coast Drive, according to Myers, who reports Hillard and a second person later identified as Walker, also of Tulsa, got out and walked toward the bus stop. Since the delivery driver was still on the phone with the cops, he was able to give them an exact location of the suspects, Myers said.
Hillard and Walker were originally arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and grand theft auto, although the charges were subsequently dropped against Walker for lack of evidence, Myers said.