Volunteer who drives members to worship carjacked outside Kansas City church

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An 86-year-old church volunteer was carjacked right outside his worship hall. A suspected thief stole his truck Tuesday evening outside Rock of Ages Baptist Church near 38th and Prospect.

“I pick up people for church every Sunday, been doing it for 30 years,” said victim Alex Bonner, who volunteers to drive the church van.

The 86-year-old Korean War veteran has always loved helping others. It was his selfless nature that brought him to his church Tuesday night to pick up something for a fellow church- goer.

“I try to live a decent, precious life,” Bonner said. “I try to help everybody as much as I possibly can.”

But his good deed didn't go unpunished.

Bonner said a man, later identified by police as 54-year-old Earl Brown, approached his truck window as he was parked right outside the worship hall and told him to empty his pockets.

“In this day and time, people don`t respect anything – church, human beings or what have you…” Bonner said.

When Bonner said he didn't have any money, Brown allegedly demanded his truck keys.

“He said, ‘Give them to me!’” Bonner recalled. “He said, ‘Give me that phone! What are you doing? Calling the police?’ I gave it to him.”

"'I'll kill you! I'll kill you!' He just kept repeating that,” Bonner said.

Bonner thought about fighting back, but said he listened to God instead.

“By the Lord directing my path,” he said, “and letting me not scuffle with him, I’m alive to talk to you today.”

He said Brown took off with the truck, but crashed it just three hours later in Riverside, Mo., where police arrested him.

The wreck caused some damage to Bonner’s truck, but he said that’s all right after a scary encounter that's left him feeling more thankful than ever.

“I can get another truck,” he said, “but I can’t get another life.”

Suspect Earl Brown is now charged with robbery in Jackson County, and charged with tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest in Platte County. On Wednesday night, he remained in the Platte County Jail under a $25,000 cash-only bond.