EAST ROCKAWAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman was recently carjacked steps from her front door, and police said the frightening encounter was all part of a disturbing crime spree.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the incident happened on the driveway of the Mulato family’s East Rockaway home. Their 23-year-old daughter was getting ready for class at Molloy College when a suspect, allegedly escaping from a shoplifting spree, shoved her to the ground and jumped in behind the wheel.
“She’s really too upset to talk about it,” said the woman’s father, Wayne Mulato.
The woman’s chilling screams were caught on the family’s home security camera. Good Samaritans joined pursuing clerks from a nearby CVS drugstore in an effort to protect the victim and thwart the violent crime.
“You don’t expect this at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and we were lucky,” Mulato said. “A lot of things could have gone wrong. He could have drove over somebody. There is a school up there where there’s usually a hundred kids out here at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
He also said the suspect “absolutely” could have pulled a weapon on his daughter.
But instead, the driver accelerated over the lawn, driving recklessly through the neighborhood streets fleeing police. The victim’s cellphone, Michael Kors purse, and schoolbooks were all in the carjacked vehicle, McLogan reported.
Detectives said the manager of the CVS and his employees first spotted the alleged thief stealing $400 worth of merchandise. They said the suspect was lashing out when he took off on foot, and spotted the vulnerable college student.
The suspect fought off his pursuers afterward, witnesses said.
“He was able to fend them off, go in reverse, hit a car of another that a Good Samaritan stopped by, and he drove through the bushes and sped away with the car,” Mulato said.
Police late Thursday were on the suspect’s trail and were hunting for Mulato’s stolen car – a gray 2010 Toyota Corolla with New York plates EVW1600.
The victim described the suspect as a middle-aged white man with brown hair, standing about 6 feet tall with an average build. He was wearing eyeglasses, a blue windbreaker, and blue jeans, said Nassau County Police Deputy Inspector Gary Shapiro.
Investigators have some good images from store security cameras, and were processing possible mugshots for the victim to identify, McLogan reported.