A schoolgirl in the USA has rescued her younger sister after a convicted felon carjacked their grandad’s truck on the way home from a daycare centre.
Luis Mena had just picked up his granddaughters Amy, aged 7, and Stephanie aged 3, from their daycare centre when Elijah Malik McDowell, 27, took the Toyota Tundra by force on Wednesday, 25th October.
Mena said: “We started fighting. But my T-shirt got all broken. He grabbed me from my T-shirt and threw me to the ground.”
The grandfather said he lost consciousness for a brief moment after the attack, while the 27-year-old convicted felon who was on probation out of Rutherford County fled with the vehicle.
After having regained consciousness, Mena said that he immediately worried about whether the two girls were still in the vehicle.
He said: “That was my biggest worry, not only my truck gets stolen, but with my girls in it. The materialistic things come and go. But my girls don’t.”
He was however relieved to see that Amy and her little sister had managed to escape the truck while he scuffled with McDowell.
Mena said: “She jumped from the truck, and she pulled her sister out of the truck, so they could escape and be safe.”
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department revealed that McDowell had previously carjacked a black Dodge Charger by holding a victim, aged 35, at gunpoint near the Super 8 Motel on Murfreesboro Pike.
They said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Detectives attempted to stop the Charger, but McDowell kept going.
“A spike strip was used to successfully deflate the car’s tires.
“McDowell wound up running off the right side of I-440 and overturning the Charger [a gun was recovered next to the vehicle].”
The 27-year-old crook then reportedly got out of the crashed car and ran to a nearby neighbourhood where he spotted Mena and the two children.
Police continued: “McDowell got inside and drove to Sadler Avenue where he got out, ran into the woods, and then onto railroad tracks.
“That is where a police canine team caught up to him and took him into custody.”
After the arrest, McDowell was treated at a hospital for dog bites to his foot.
He was booked on two counts of carjacking, two counts of felony evading arrest, unlawful gun possession, and gun use during the commission of a violent felony, on Thursday, 26th October.
In addition, he was also charged with possessing a ‘Glock switch’ that makes a gun fully automatic, aggravated assault for driving at the two children, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and driving on a revoked license.
A judicial commissioner set McDowell’s bond at USD 211,000 [GBP 173,977].
Media revealed that he was previously convicted on charges of aggravated assault and narcotics.