A defiant Washington, D.C., grandmother was determined not to become the next carjacking statistic after being targeted by a teenager.
The would-be victim instead fought off her attacker, who was in need of an ambulance once all was said and done.
The grandmother, who declined to be publicly identified, was on her way to her chemotherapy treatment around 8:40 a.m. on Feb. 17 when she was confronted by a 15-year-old.
She was in her vehicle getting ready to start it when the teenager also entered her vehicle demanding the keys.
“The next thing I know, he walked up talking about, ‘Give me your keys, I got a gun’,” the grandmother told WJLA.
The steadfast grandmother told the teenager, “You better shoot me because you’re not taking my car today.”
The grandmother and the teen then got into a physical struggle. The woman’s hands had scars stemming from the altercation.
“He pushed me to the door then I got out and was hitting his a– and hitting him and fighting him, and I said, ‘you’re not going to take my car youngin’,” the woman said.
It’s unclear exactly how long the physical altercation lasted, but the grandmother reportedly screamed during the attack, which caught the attention of her grandson and a neighbor nearby.
“They all came out to help me then he ran across the street, and they caught him,” the woman said.
Police were called immediately after the teenager was apprehended by the woman’s grandson and neighbor.
“They caught him, and I said, ‘Oh, you’re going to jail today. You’re definitely going to jail, yes you are,” the grandmother said.
The elderly woman is a fixture in her neighborhood which sits on Washington D.C.’s southeast side near the Maryland border. She’s colloquially known as “grandma” to area residents. She said she had not seen the teenager before the attempted carjacking.
“On 22nd street? He must didn’t know where he was,” the grandmother said.
According to police, the unidentified teenager was taken to the hospital by ambulance after they arrived on the scene. He was charged with unarmed carjacking, and no gun was found at the scene.
Reports of carjackings are up throughout the country, according to the Council on Criminal Justice.
The organization combed car theft data from 2019 to 2022 for 30 major metropolitan areas including Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Memphis and Chicago. “Only one of the 30 cities (Baltimore) experienced a decrease in vehicle thefts during this period. The average increase across these months in the 30 cities was 59 percent, and vehicle thefts more than doubled in eight of the cities.”
Washington D.C. saw a 70 percent increase in car thefts over the three-year period.
The report went on to say most carjackings occur at or near the victim’s home. Roughly 40 percent of offenders are armed with a firearm, and more than a quarter of the victims are injured. Women are as likely as men to be victims of a carjacking.