Two Metro police officers assigned to the bomb squad happened to be in the right place at the right time Tuesday afternoon as they spotted a man accused of carjacking and kidnapping two citizens at a convenience store.
According to police, William Buchanan, 36, was in the parking lot of the Mapco at Stewarts Ferry Pike and McCrory Creek Road at 1 p.m. holding a plastic gas can and asking people for money.
Officers said Buchanan had cut a portion of the gas can and had hidden a loaded .357 pistol inside.
Hermitage resident Christopher Smith, 25, reported to police that he was standing outside his pickup when Buchanan approached and asked for cash. Smith said he declined and urged Buchanan to move on.
"When I said that, I felt a poke in the small of my back, and he said get the (expletive) in the car. I looked down and there was a large revolver sticking in the side of my back," Smith said.
Police said the response prompted Buchanan to pull his pistol from the gas can and order Smith into the pickup.
Already in the passenger seat was Smith's friend, Kerry Anderson, 31, police said. Smith sat in the middle as Buchanan, with gun in hand, got behind the wheel and drove away.
Officers Kevin Pollard and Gerry Gann were in traffic near the pickup, police said. Pollard saw what appeared to be a struggle taking place inside the pickup and heard calls for help.
"I'm screaming, 'Help, help, help!' out of the window," Smith said.
Police said Gann, who was close by in a separate police vehicle, also saw Anderson waving his arms out the passenger window. The officers activated their emergency equipment and got behind the pickup as it traveled onto the shoulder of McCrory Creek Road and stopped.
"At that point in time when the truck pulled in front of me, I took off down the road," Gann said.
At that point, officers said Buchanan tossed the gun out of the window, and police took him into custody without further incident.
"I've never been so happy to see blue lights before in my life," Smith said.
During questioning with detectives, Buchanan admitted to hanging around the parking lots of gas stations asking for money. Police said he indicated that victims in this case made him angry by not giving him any cash.
Buchanan is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond. At the time of Tuesday's arrest, Buchanan was free on $15,000 in connection to three January felony drug charges and a separate $4,000 bond related to his second offense DUI arrest from last month.
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