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Detective believes suspect was convinced to do 'right thing' because mom was there during interview

KHOU-TV Houston 1/18/2023 Cory McCord (KHOU), Shern-Min Chow

It was terrifying to watch when Houston police released a dashcam video showing an Uber driver being held at gunpoint.

The driver didn't give up his car and eventually got away, but authorities said he was lucky it played out that way.

The incident happened on Oct. 18, but only recently have the wheels of justice really started to turn. According to Houston police, two people were arrested in connection with the crime. Detectives said a tip led them to Martin Brooks and a juvenile.

According to police, investigators questioned Brooks, 18, at his home. His mother was there at the time.

“It was a recorded interview. Initially, he denied any involvement,” HPD Robbery Detective Jhyarde Nickerson said.

That's when Nickerson showed them the dashcam video.

“I’m sure the chip on his shoulder of his mom being present while we were talking about this case wasn't any help,” Nickerson said.

Nickerson said he thinks Brooks' mother's presence convinced him “to do the right thing (and) admit to his fault."

Nickerson honored his promise to allow Brooks to leave after the interview. He went to file a charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He was going to arrest the teen when he got the warrant, but Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputies ended up picking him up before that could happen. According to officials, Brooks was taken into custody in an unrelated case for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading arrest.

Replay Video

The gunman, a juvenile, that is seen in the video was also picked up on an unrelated charge, police said. Detectives said they have the gun that was used in the crime. Nickerson said it was a real gun.

Houston Police Department investigators are asking Uber to release the subscriber information from that ride. They want it to help bolster their case. Nickerson said the tip from the community is what really got the ball rolling in the case.

“We really like when the community comes out and helps puts these guys behind bars and gets them off the streets,” he said.

The crime

It happened in southwest Houston on Oct. 18 when police the victim said he picked up two men from a restaurant along Westheimer Road near Voss Road.

When the men got in the car, they changed the dropoff location to an apartment complex on Westheimer between Fondren Road and Hillcroft Avenue.

That's when things went south.

A camera in the vehicle shows both men pointing guns at the driver and repeatedly ordering him to get out of the car.

"I'm gonna kill you. Get the f--- outta the car. Get the f--- outta the car," one of the men shouted.

One of them got out of the car and tried to take Dovran's phone, that's when he said he hit the gas with the other guy still in the car pointing a gun at his head and shouting.

"One of them reached for my phone. I didn't let it go. I hold it tightly. The other put a gun to my head behind me," Dovran said. “If I push the gas and drive off, one of them gonna be behind us. So at least it’s easier to deal with one guy, right? Instead of two.”

Dovran refused to stop, honked the horn and the other person finally gave up and jumped out of the moving vehicle.

Dovran drove away and called the police.

The driver, who only wanted to be identified as Dovran, is originally from Turkmenistan, serves in the United States Army Reserves and said he went through combat training. He never learned how to deal with armed carjackers, but the training, nonetheless, likely helped when he was staring down the barrel of the gun.

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