Houston – To say that Johntrel Lewis is in an unusual predicament is an understatement, and he knows it.
The 26-year-old Houston native is searching for a new car and some answers after his car was totaled in the deadly crash that killed three valet workers outside a sports bar.
“I’m trying to figure out what you were you thinking when you jumped in the car,’” Lewis said.
Police say the 17-year-old suspect -- who also was a valet driver -- took Lewis’ car on a chase that ended with the deaths of three men.
Lewis said he used valet to park his vehicle at the Cafe Mawal restaurant the night of the chase, and even came outside to snap a photo of the damaged 2013 Infiniti G37 before realizing it was his vehicle.
“I took a picture of it and I’m sending it to my friends like, ‘Bro. somebody’s car is jacked up, they’re going to be mad in the morning,’” recalled Lewis. “That was my car.”
After he and other patrons were unable to retrieve their vehicles from the crime scene, Lewis went home where he was awakened an hour later by someone he believes was with the Houston Police Department. He said he received another call an hour after that.
“That’s when the detective called me,” said Lewis. “He was like, ‘Your car was involved in a homicide. It was used in a homicide. It’s totaled. There’s nothing you can do.’”
Lewis was able to retrieve some of his belongings from the severely damaged vehicle after police allowed him entrance to the vehicle at their evidence impound lot. In the meantime, he doesn’t have a car, which has prevented him from starting a new job he just landed last week.
“I was supposed to start there,” he said. “I couldn’t go to that. I have to figure out how I’m going to piece that together.”