4 years in prison for 17-year-old after attempted carjacking where woman jumped on SUV’s hood

MILWAUKEE — A 17-year-old boy has been sentenced to prison after a violent carjacking caught on camera in May of 2017. The victim jumped onto the hood of her vehicle to prevent the suspect from driving off in it.

Jermerrio Gregory, 17 in December pleaded guilty to three charges — two of them felonies:

  • Attempted robbery with use of force
  • Second degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Attempted theft of movable property — less than $2,500

On Dec. 14, he was sentenced to serve two years in prison and one year extended supervision with credit for 100 days credit for time served on count 1, four years in prison and four years extended supervision with 100 days credit for time served on count 2, and 96 days in the House of Correction with credit for 96 days time served.

The sentences are to be served concurrently, so Gregory will serve a total of four years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint, a vehicle stolen on May 23, 2017 around 5 a.m. near 20th and Layton was later driven to a gas station near Plankinton and W. St. Paul Ave. — where Gregory is accused of trying to steal an SUV.

The victim shared her incredible and terrifying story after the crime, which happened on the afternoon of May 23, 2017 at a gas station on W. St. Paul Ave. Melissa Smith posted on Facebook that she was gassing up her SUV when the suspects, apparently in a stolen vehicle, tried to steal her SUV.

Smith told FOX6 News she was running off pure adrenaline during this incident.

Melissa Smith

“I had this ‘this is not happening to me reaction’ and ran around, jumped around on my car, grabbed my windshield wipers, and didn’t let go,” Smith said.

Smith jumped on the hood of the SUV to prevent her vehicle from being driven off.

“They laughed at me.  The kid in my car laughed at me while I was on my car and tried moving and throwing me off, and I screamed bloody murder, and I didn’t get off,” Smith said.

After a couple of seconds, the person inside the SUV jumped out — and left the SUV in gear.

Smith was then forced to jump into a moving vehicle — even as the suspects drove away.

Smith said in the Facebook post that the suspects didn’t get her SUV, but they did make away with her purse, iPhone and wallet.

Amazingly, she was unharmed.

“I don’t think it’s sunken in how really bad that could have been.  I know it’s not the right decision but it was gut instinct.  You have a split second to think about what you’re going to do.  That was my gut reaction,” Smith said.

She said her fiance was the first person she reached to let him know that she was OK.

Brock Guetzke

“It’s very frightening, and when I saw the video, my heart just sank, and it’s very unnerving, terrifying for her, and that stuff happens and it’s kind of becoming the norm,” Smith’s fiance, Brock Guetzke said.

Smith and her fiance said they’re upset by the actions of the suspects.

“It’s not cool. It’s not going to make you successful. It’s not going to make you good honest money.  It’s going to get you into big trouble one day,” Smith said. “I’m glad people are seeing (the video) and know this can happen to anybody.  Anywhere.  I did not expect that to happen at 2:00 in the afternoon,” Smith said.

Smith noted that she realizes she made a mistake by leaving the vehicle unlocked with the keys inside at the gas station.

The vehicle stolen hours beforehand near 20th and Layton was later found abandoned by police — and some of Smith’s property was located inside it — including her wallet and driver’s license, prosecutors say. A fingerprint was recovered from the Cadillac — and it was identified as Gregory’s left thumbprint.

The criminal complaint says police spoke with another individual, out on GPS monitoring, whose GPS data put him at the scene. This individual said he was in the back seat of the Cadillac when the attempted carjacking happened, and he identified Gregory as the individual who tried to drive Smith’s vehicle away from the gas station.

Gregory himself told investigators he “saw the lady and her car at BP and thought it would be easy,” and that he “didn’t expect the lady to do what she did and that he was scared when she was on the hood because he wasn’t trying to hurt her.” He said when he pulled forward and stopped he “was trying to scare her so she would get off the car.” He further admitted to taking a wallet and phone from Smith’s car when he abandoned it.

The complaint makes reference to a third vehicle, stolen on May 25 near 6th and Wells after the victim left it running. He said he was standing 10 feet from his vehicle when a male suspect jumped out of a blue minivan and took his car – a red Hyundai Elantra. Later that night, police received a report from a woman who said there were two suspects inside her neighbor’s attached garage with a red Hyundai Elantra — rummaging through a Nissan Xterra. Nothing was taken — but fingerprints belonging to Gregory were recovered from the car. Gregory later told investigators he was looking for money, and he denied he was attempting to steal the car.