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Mother recounts fighting off carjacker to protect her 4-year-old

by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 14 at 11:10 AM

HOUSTON — The mother of a 4-year-old girl is thankful to have her daughter back after a terrifying ordeal on Monday night.

The 35-year-old mother said they were carjacked after walking out of the Fallas Paredes store in the 5800 block of Lyons in east Houston.

The little girl was being buckled into her car seat when the mom said the man walked up behind her. She thought he wanted money.

"He told me, ‘Don’t move, don’t scream, just give me your keys,’" said the victim, who didn’t want her name used. "My first reaction is, ‘No that’s not going to happen. This is not gonna happen to me.’ So I fought back."

The woman said she hit and kicked the man, but he overpowered her.

"He got in and I jumped on him and I attacked him, just to get the keys away from him," she said. "I’m telling him, ‘My daughter is in the truck, please leave us alone.’"

The mother was pushed to the ground and the carjacker drove off. The Nissan Xterra ended up driving less than a mile to the 2400 block of Erastus Street.

The carjacker told the little girl to get out. Residents found the child on the sidewalk and listened as she explained what happened.

One of them pieced the story together and drove the girl back to the store where her mother and police were waiting.

"It just happened so fast," said the child’s mother. "It was like a nightmare and I can’t believe it happened. I’m so grateful to God that she’s OK, you know."

The SUV was recovered late Monday night in the 2300 block of Kabee Street.

The carjacker was still on the loose Wednesday.

If you know anything about this carjacking, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).