MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 24-year-old Twin Cities woman came face to face with her carjacker twice, going from victim to detective in just two days.
“It was a shock to see,” Kenyatta Bennett said, recalling the moment she saw 25-year-old Cartez Cook, the man who she says stole her car, a second time. “And then he saw my face, and his jaw dropped like, ‘Damn! She caught me!’”
Minneapolis police arrested Cook shortly after the sighting and took him to the Hennepin County Jail, where he currently is being held.
Bennett recalled being carjacked by Cook on a Sunday afternoon outside her Aunt’s home in south Minneapolis.
“He just opened the door, smacked me with a pistol and told me to get out of the car,” she said. “And he stopped and snatched my chain off.”
Bennett said she was scared to death and angry when Cook made off with her mom’s car. He came out of nowhere, she said, and hopped in the car while she was trying to get something out of the console.
“Yea, I thought he was going to kill me,” she said. “I just cooperated with him, gave him my mom’s car. You can always get another car, but she can’t get another daughter.”
Bennett had never seen Cook before, and she certainly never imagined she would see him again after being carjacked.
Two days later, however, she happened to be in the right place at the right time.
While pumping gas at a SuperAmerica, located on 2nd Street West and Lyndale Avenue South, Bennett noticed Cook across the street. She couldn’t forget his pony tail, the mark above his eye or his gold teeth.
“My cousin said, ‘What’s wrong? Looks like you’ve seen a ghost.’ I said that’s the man who jacked me and smacked me with a pistol,’” Bennett said.
After seeing Cook, Bennett called police, and within minutes, Cook was in handcuffs.
“I smiled that day,” she said. “Caught him red handed at a gas station in a White Impala. Yea, I solved my own case. That was a beautiful thing, and he can’t hurt nobody else, and I’m happy about that.”
Bennett’s car was recovered on the 4700 block of Nicollet Avenue.