Bronx, NY – A 49-year-old mother yanked a would-be vehicle thief out of her SUV on Tuesday morning, then wrestled him to the ground and held him down until police arrived (video below).
The altercation began at approximately 7:30 a.m., after Tihisha Jones auto-started her 2005 Honda Pilot in preparation to take her son to school, WABC reported.
When she walked outside her Brook Avenue apartment, she realized there was a man sitting in the driver’s seat of her running vehicle.
The suspect, later identified as Bernado Santiago, was tying to get the vehicle to move, but the rightful owner of the SUV was still in possession of the key.
Jones, who suffers from congestive heart failure, said she couldn’t risk losing the vehicle her family depends on.
“So, I had to take matters into my own hands because I worked [and] saved to get that car myself,” she told WABC.
Jones opened the passenger door to confront the would-be vehicle thief, but he closed it in her face.
Undeterred, the single mother marched around to the driver’s side of her SUV, opened the door, and grabbed onto 19-year-old Santiago.
She then threw him to the ground, and pinned him down while she called police.
A neighbor heard the commotion and began recording the scene on the street below.
“Dude tried to steal her car,” a woman said in the video. “She caught him, pulled that n----a out the vehicle, and beat his -ss.”
Santiago briefly attempted to get away from Jones, but she firmly grabbed onto his shirt and pulled it up over his head, then sat on him, the video showed.
“I’d just had enough. It’s time to fight back,” Jones told WABC. “I don’t think this is fair that people work hard for their things, for somebody just to take your things away.”
When police arrived at the scene, Santiago unsuccessfully tried to convince them that Jones’ SUV was his Uber.
He appeared to be intoxicated, police said.
Santiago has been charged with petit larceny, attempted grand larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property.
You can watch footage of Jones’ encounter with the attempted car thief in the video below: