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Cops and Courts

Woman fends off carjacker at Elyria gas station

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    This photo taken from video shows a man who tried to carjack a woman at the Speedway on East Broad Street in Elyria.

    PHOTO COURTESY ELYRIA POLICE

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ELYRIA — A Lorain County woman “did exactly the right thing” Wednesday night by making noise, foiling what Elyria police said was an attempted knifepoint carjacking at an East Broad Street gas station.

Elyria police spokesman Capt. Chris Costantino said a 33-year-old woman was headed home from visiting a friend about 11:18 p.m. when she stopped at the Speedway at 900 E. Broad St.

After buying items inside the store, she returned to her car to find a white male described as middle-aged with a stocky build and thinning hair and wearing glasses, a blue jacket, red plaid pants and white-and-black tennis shoes standing nearby, according to surveillance photos posted on Facebook by Elyria police.

The man asked the woman if she knew how to get to an address on South Abbe Road. Not being from Elyria, she told him she did not but “suggested he use GPS” to find it, Costantino said.

When the man said he did not have access to a GPS, the woman offered to look up the address on her phone, unlocked her car and got in. Having “not a good feeling” about the man, she also took a pocketknife out from her center console and placed it under her leg, Costantino said.

The man then moved closer to the woman’s vehicle and tried to get in, and the victim saw he was armed with a knife, Costantino said.

“He told her ‘Get out of the car,’ and it appeared he wanted to take the car,” he said.

The victim “was able to honk the horn and scream for help” before struggling with the suspect, Costantino said. Multiple good Samaritans from the gas station and convenience store came to her aid, and the suspect ran across East Broad Street toward the parking lot of Jimmy John’s sandwich shop at 925 E. Broad St., he said.

The victim sustained several superficial cuts during the struggle but did not require medical treatment, Costantino said. In an online post Thursday, the victim said the suspect “was stabbing me and I defended myself with my knife.”

She declined to immediately comment for this story.

Elyria police detectives are continuing to search for the man, Costantino said. He lauded both the woman’s quick thinking and the response of passers-by who came to her aid.

“She did exactly the right thing by yelling and screaming, and some people responded,” Costantino said. “We certainly thank those people. It could’ve been worse without them there.”

Anyone with any information on the suspect or the incident is asked to call the Elyria Police Department at (440) 323-3302.

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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