MESA, Ariz. – A military veteran says his instinct and training kicked in when a man being chased in a pickup truck by Arizona authorities tried to steal the vet’s motorcycle.
“I looked him up and down for a weapon and I didn’t see one and at that point in my head, it was game on,” said Brandon Jenkins, 26, who served in Afghanistan.
After a brief fight, the man being pursued got back in the pickup and drove off. He was later taken into custody after the vehicle crashed on Interstate 10 near Sun Lakes.
Joshua Michael Monigold, 31, remained hospitalized Friday for injuries suffered in the crash. Mesa police said charges were pending.
Monigold was wanted by Marana police on suspicion of leaving the scene of a March 19 Tucson-area collision that involved injuries.
Marana police announced Friday they are charging Monigold with leaving the scene of a collision with injuries, aggravated assault, endangerment, theft of a motor vehicle and being a prohibited possessor of a firearm.
They also said Monigold’s wife has been arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail on felony charges of facilitation and unlawful use of means of transportation. Joshua Michael Monigold, 31, April Monigold, 35, allegedly was the passenger in the stolen vehicle and helped her husband hide from authorities, Marana police Sgt. Chris Warren said.
In Thursday afternoon’s incident in Mesa, Jenkins said he didn’t know why the other man accosted him and demanded the motorcycle. “I thought maybe I cut him off and it rubbed him the wrong way. And then when he ripped me off my motorcycle, it became very apparent he was trying to steal my bike,” Jenkins said.
Given his military training and the fact that he was wearing a helmet and other motorcycle gear, Jenkins said he decided he could defend himself.
“For a split-second, my son ran through my head and I got a little worried but … instinct kicked in and I just wanted the guy off my motorcycle,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the only thing he would have done differently was swing harder at the other man if he had known exactly what was going on.
It would be prudent for some people in a similar situation to not fight, he said.
“If you don’t have training to defend yourself just take a step back,” Jenkins said. “You can replace your vehicle. You can’t replace your life.”