Acting quickly, a Florida mom thwarted an attempted carjacking by fighting off the men who were trying to steal her car, unaware that her two kids were inside.
The mother — who wasn’t identified — was pumping gas at a station in Hialeah, Fla., on Monday night when she saw two people wearing ski masks run toward the car next to her’s at the pump.
When the woman in the other car locked herself in the car and quickly drove away, the would-be carjackers turned their attention to the mother’s car, with one man trying to jump into the vehicle on the driver’s side while the other jumped in on the other.
Worried about her kids sitting in the back seat, she fought back. In an encounter captured on the gas station’s security camera, she hurriedly pulls one man out of the driver’s side, tossing him away from her car.
“She was a mom, and what that bad guy didn't know, in the back seat of that car were two kids," Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby told CNN affiliate WSVN. "She wasn't gonna let them be taken, so she fought, she dragged the guy out of the car, and they both ran away like cowards."
The two suspects made off in a getaway vehicle that was quickly caught by local police. As it turns out, the mom’s instinctual response to protect her kids by fighting back isn’t unusual.
In 2009, a Canada woman named Maureen Lee was enjoying a hike with her 3-year-old daughter Maya on a trail near their home, 40 miles north of Vancouver, when an 88-pound cougar appeared and pounced on Maya, reports Woman's Day Magazine.
Ms. Lee quickly wedged herself between the cougar and her daughter and hurled it off, then picked up Maya and ran to a nearby house. As a result of the mom’s efforts, her daughter only suffered some cuts to her head and arm, reportedly asking her father, “Why didn’t the kitty play nice?”
Animals often have a similarly close bond with their mothers, with baby orangutans relying entirely on their mothers for food and transportation for their first two years. For the next six to seven years, they stay with their young, teaching them where to find food, what and how to eat and how to build a nest for sleeping, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.
In the case of the Florida mom, a police officer near the gas station saw the suspects' speeding car and began to follow it before it crashed into a fence, Sgt. Zogby told WSVN.
On Wednesday, 19-year-old Nicholas Rosado was charged with attempted carjacking while Rebecca Utria, 21, who allegedly drove the getaway car, was charged with attempted carjacking and fleeing from police. The third suspect, Juan Carlos Gonzales, 17, faces similar charges and is expected to appear in court Thursday.