Hero baseball coach Dylan Graham saved a teen player from being carjacked at gunpoint. Jack Spencer, 16, was getting into coach Graham’s car after practice at Kearny Mesa Field on December 23 when a gunman appeared in the backseat and demanded to be driven to the town of Ramona.
Dylan Graham, 28, developed a plan to seize the gun from the carjacker as he smoked a cigarette while they traveled down the highway, NBC San Diego reports. With the baseball coach behind the wheel and his player in the front passenger seat, Graham drove the trio through the mountains and toward Ramona. The carjacker had initially told them he would allow them to go free once the reached the town. But, the man made a phone call and suddenly announced that his plans had changed.
After the phone call, Graham said that he began firmly believing that the carjacker was going to kill them, and was just waiting for the right spot and time to do so. The hero baseball coach started to form an escape plan and route that would hopefully keep both himself and Jack alive, Inside Edition notes.
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In a risky move while still behind the wheel, Coach Graham whipped off his seatbelt and dove between the seats to reach the man holding them at gunpoint. The car owned by the hero coach crashed while Graham and the armed carjacking suspect wrestled for control of the gun. During the struggle two shots were fired from the gun while the men were still inside the jeep. The bullets went through the roof of the vehicle. The baseball coach yelled at Spencer to run away.
Coach Graham was ultimately able to get a firm grip on the carjacker’s, gun and shot the suspect’s feet twice. The man then ran away from the wreckage, leaving a trail of blood behind. According to San Diego Police Department reports, the wounded carjacker was able to get another car to stop for him and then forced the 79-year-old driver to take him on into Ramona.
Once the hijacked female driver and the carjacker reached his final destination, the woman was ordered out of the car. The man then drove away leaving the shocked woman standing on the pavement. Police officials said the stolen car has since been recovered, and the suspect taken into custody.
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During an interview with local reporters, Kevin Spencer, Jack’s dad, shared his thoughts about the armed carjacking of his son and the actions of the hero baseball coach.
“Didn’t hit me ’til church that we could have been at a funeral Mass instead of a Christmas Mass. It kind of hit me right then and there we could have lost our son. If Dylan didn’t do what he did, the circumstances could have been vastly different. It could have been a heck of a lot worse.”
Graham survived the carjacking attempt and crash with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises. The family of Jack Spencer has thanked his baseball coach profusely for his brave actions that could have saved the teen’s life. He was briefly treated at the hospital and then released. Dylan was a University of San Diego baseball player who did not have any formal self-defense training. Spencer’s father shared the story of the carjacking to highlight the intense bravery and quick-thinking the hero baseball coach exhibited, and to add some positive news to a world he feels is all too often filled with negativity. The thankful father passionately proclaimed Graham as “one of the good guys.”
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