MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in New Jersey are searching for a man who allegedly tried to carjack a pregnant woman as she waited at a stop light, and they’re warning drivers in one county to be on alert.
The incident happened just before 11 p.m. Thursday night at the intersection of Route 571 and Renaissance Boulevard in Manchester Township.
The suspect opened the driver’s side door and tried to pull the 23-year-old Toms River woman, who is seven months pregnant, out of the vehicle, police said.
The woman was able to fight the suspect off and drive away, but suffered injuries to her neck and knuckles, CBS 2 reported.
“Her instinct was to protect herself. She covered her stomach with one arm and started punching him with her right hand, which got him out of the vehicle,” Manchester Police Sgt. James Sharkey told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
Police have released a sketch of the suspect.
The victim, who was treated and released from this hospital is fine. So is her baby. Police said she was in an older car that doesn’t automatically lock when it’s put in gear.
“I think she is very brave. It’s very frightening,” Manchester resident Barbara Clark said.
“I would hopefully do the same thing if someone was trying to hurt me or take my car,” Toms River resident Donna Thornton added.
CBS 2’s Sloan asked police if the victim made the right choice.
“That was her option. She made a good decision. She wasn’t harmed. But in all circumstances that may not be the case. Sometimes your best bet is to call for help, call 911,” Sgt. Sharkey said.
Which is what the owners of a house less than a mile away on Wilbur Avenue did. That’s where the suspect ran to, setting off a car alarm, police said.
Police are warning drivers to lock their car doors and be on the look out for the suspect, who is considered dangerous. Police also reminded drivers to leave enough distance between you and the car in front of you to maneuver away in case of an emergency.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 732-657-6111.
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