Suspect identified in hijacking of deputy's truck

A Columbus man was arrested Thursday evening and charged with the Feb. 23 afternoon hijacking of a pickup truck belonging to Muscogee County Deputy Sheriff Larry Jones in the Peachtree Mall parking lot.

Gary Jerome Hardaway, 23, of 4343 Warm Springs Road, was arrested by deputies at the intersection of Armour and Warm Springs roads.He is being held in the Muscogee County Jail and received a 9 a.m. Friday hearing in Municipal Court.

He was also charged with four counts of possessing a firearm; possessing cocaine with intent to distribute; theft by receiving stolen property; possessing marijuana (misdemeanor); driving with license suspended; probation violation; two counts of pointing a gun; and possessing a firearm during commission of a crime. A $1,000 bond was set on the suspended license charge; and $250 on each count of possessing marijuana and pointing a gun.

Jones said he was returning to his red 1997 GMC Sierra truck with his teen-age son and his former wife near the Macy's entrance, when they discovered his truck's door open and a man inside the vehicle, McCrea said earlier.

Jones and his son managed to wrestle the man to the ground and subdue him, but than a second man approached with a handgun and ordered them to release the first suspect.

The suspect got up, jumped into Jones' truck and fled the scene. The second man drove off in a black Honda Civic. No one was injured.The second suspect is still at large.