Wedding guest recalls frightening carjacking just before ceremony

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- What should have been a day of joy and celebration ended up being a traumatic ordeal for one wedding guest on Saturday afternoon.

It happened at a church on the southeast side near 79th Street and the Paseo.

That's where police said the teenager at the center of the alleged case is already on probation for another crime.

Chris Nguyen said he was just killing some time in his car before his cousin's wedding started when a stranger walked up and asked for a favor.

"I was just sitting in my car, looking at my phone, and he came up to me and came up to my window, asked to use my phone, and I told him no," he said.

But Nguyen said 17-year-old Elgin Canton didn't take no for an answer. That's when he said Canton pulled open his door and then pulled a gun.

"Then he pulled me out of the car, demanded my keys and my phone," Nguyen said. "I thought he was going to shoot me in the leg. So that's when I reached into my pocket and tossed my keys to the side. After I tossed my keys, he took the gun and hit me with the butt of it on the forehead, and then he went to go pick up the keys and then drove off."

Family members were standing out front of the church and saw everything. He called police immediately.

"When I threw the keys, and after he hit me, one of my cousins yelled at him, saying 'What are you doing?' and he pointed the gun at them, so they kind of backed away, hid behind cars, because they were worried," he said.

Nguyen said the carjacking loomed over what was supposed to be a happy occasion.

"I was thinking about what had happened pretty much through the entire ceremony," he said.

As for the suspect, he's no stranger to police.

Less than a month ago, Canton started serving five years probation for a different crime. On top of that, he now faces charges for robbery, armed criminal action, tampering with a motor vehicle, assault, and unlawful use of a weapon.

"This isn't his first offense, so I'm glad they were able to catch him, make sure he doesn't do it again," Nguyen said. "I don't want this to happen to anyone else. I think he needs to be punished for what he's done"

Police found Nguyen's car monday night, with minor damage. He said the wedding went on as scheduled.