A Riverside woman's harrowing carjacking experience started late Saturday on Hertel Avenue when someone forced her into the passenger seat and drove off with her SUV, police say. It ended only when a passerby saw her struggling to escape and flagged down an officer.
The woman told police she was getting into her Ford Explorer parked in front of a store at 576 Hertel Ave., between Military Road and Elmwood Avenue, at 9:15 p.m. Saturday when a man in a black hooded sweatshirt threatened her and pushed her through the driver's side door into the passenger seat.
The carjacker then got into the driver's seat, started the engine, made a U-turn and started heading east on Hertel. When he stopped at the light at Hertel and Elmwood, the victim tried to escape. The driver then turned right onto Elmwood, heading south, dragging the victim and scraping her knees.
A witness grabbed the attention of a nearby officer, but the driver stopped the SUV in front of 1841 Elmwood and fled east through the Valu Home Centers parking lot.
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