A 22-year-old man remained in custody after a bond hearing Wednesday on a charge that he turned a test drive of a Joplin car dealership's Dodge Challenger into a carjacking.
Nathan A. Thompson, of Joplin, appeared before Associate Judge Joe Hensley at a Jasper County Circuit Court hearing held via video conferencing.
The defendant has been in custody with his bond set at $10,000 since his arrest Friday morning in connection with the hijacking of a Dodge Challenger that he test drove Nov. 10 in the company of a Roper Range Line salesman. The judge responded to his request for a bond reduction by referring him to the court's pretrial release program.
Thompson, who is charged with a Class B felony count of vehicle hijacking, had entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment Monday.
A probable-cause affidavit filed with the charge states that the salesman who went on the test drive with Thompson felt he was driving in an erratic and dangerous manner and asked him to stop and let him take over.
The defendant purportedly responded to the salesman's request by bringing the car to an abrupt stop, telling him that he would be taking the car instead and pulling his shirt up to reveal a bulge in his waistband that the salesman took to be a firearm.
The salesman reached over and tried to pin Thompson's hand against his waist to prevent him from pulling the gun out, and a struggle ensued during which the salesman dropped his cellphone out the window. When he opened to door to retrieve it, Thompson sped off, throwing the salesman from the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Police posted security video of the suspect obtained from Roper Range Line on the Joplin Police Department's Facebook page, and several people called in identifying the suspect as Thompson, which led to his arrest two days later, according to the affidavit.