Police arrest man suspected of shooting Grammy winner during attempted carjacking

Tuesday, August 9th 2005, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ A man suspected of shooting Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn during an attempted carjacking was arrested after a 5 1/2-hour standoff with police.

Cohn, who had a hit with the song ``Walking in Memphis'' and won the Grammy for best new artist in 1992, was shot in the temple late Sunday when a man fired into his band's van in a parking garage.

Cohn, who is married to ABC news reporter Elizabeth Vargas, was treated at a hospital and released Monday. He canceled the remaining five stops on his tour with Suzanne Vega.

The bullet grazed Cohn's driver and tour manager Thomas Dube, who also was treated and released.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the bullet appeared to have been slowed by the van's windshield and by Dube before hitting Cohn. ``Frankly, I can't tell you how he survived,'' Jackson said.

Police arrested Joseph William Yacteen late Monday outside a vacant house where had holed up for hours, negotiating with police. The standoff ended when he was forced out by tear gas, pointed a gun at officers and was shot with a non-lethal rubber ball, Jackson said.

Yacteen allegedly tried to stop Cohn's van after allegedly fleeing a downtown hotel where he had tried to pay his bill with a stolen credit card. Dube, who saw that he had a gun, sped up and swerved trying to avoid Yacteen, police said, and Yacteen fired one shot into the van. The van was carrying four people at the time.

Yacteen also allegedly fired several shots while fleeing security guards and trying to take a car from a woman. He eventually disappeared in a stolen SUV, before being located at the vacant house, authorities said.

Yacteen, 26, was being held on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery and other charges. In addition, an arrest warrant had been issued after he missed a court hearing July 15 in a drug and weapons charge.

Cohn, who has often specialized in songs of loss and longing, said in a 1998 Associated Press interview that he had learned to focus on his family and his music instead of the pursuit of success.

``I'm less obsessed today and (music) means more to me,'' he said. ``I take it less for granted.''

When he won the best new artist Grammy in 1992, Cohn was also nominated for song of the year and best male pop vocalist, both for ``Walking in Memphis.''

``I didn't consider there would be more than one; if anything, it would be best new artist,'' he said at the time. ``To get three is pretty great.''

Among his albums are ``Marc Cohn,'' ``The Rainy Season'' and ``Burning the Daze.''