HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A volunteer firefighter on Long Island was arrested after a mother and her two children were terrorized during a bizarre carjacking attempt.
The incident occurred around 7 p.m. Monday in Hempstead.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Talks To Chambers
Ashburn Neysmith, 52, is accused of jumping through the rear passenger window of a four-door Ford that was being driven by a 31-year-old mother.
“Like a monster that came running. He was running so fast that he just dove like he was diving into a swimming pool,” Sharon Washington, the victims’ aunt, told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.
The woman’s two boys, ages 6 and 12, were in the back seat of the car at the time of the incident, police said. Washington said Neysmith suddenly became crazed and violent and literally dove through the open window of her niece’s brand new SUV. He landed on the 6-year-old who fell out the back door, but the 12-year-old was trapped, CBS 2′s McLogan reported.
“My nephew tried to get out of the car, fell with the seat belt still stuck on him, and his whole leg under the tire, rolling over his foot back and forth and he is lying there frantic and in pain,” Washington said.
Unaware that the child was caught under the wheel, the 31-year-old mom wrestled with the suspect over the gear shift screaming “You’re not taking my kids!” witnesses said.
“So I finally got in, and got to the car seat. I released my nephew on the ground but his feet were still stuck under the car,” Washington said.
“The car inches forward on top of the young child’s leg. Bystanders, men in the community, realize what’s happening — heroically these men are able to lift the car up,” said Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Raymond Cote.
Chambers told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria he had no idea a car was being stolen. He said he just ran to help a screaming boy.
“His foot was under the tire and me and my friend — our guess is adrenaline, whatever — we tried to pick the car up,” Chambers said.
Neysmith then jumped into the front seat and forced the woman out of the car, police said. As she was fighting Neysmith off, the car was rocking back and forth and Chambers and his friend pulled the boy’s foot out, D’Auria reported.
“And this is the crazy part, when we pulled out his foot, his sneaker was still under the car,” Chambers said.
A group of bystanders blocked the vehicle and held Neysmith until police arrived.
The victims were taken to a local hospital.
Neysmith’s wife told friends her husband forgot his medication.
“She said they were sitting there having dinner and talking, he was fine, and all of a sudden he got up and he was not him anymore, ran down the street,” neighbor Eileen Smith told CBS 2′s McLogan.
“He was like a crazed animal. My niece, she was a great mother. God just gave us the strength to do everything that we did,” Washington added.
Neysmith was charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
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