Seattle grandmother jumps on hood of her vehicle to try to stop carjacker; suspect caught

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SEATTLE — She was less than two miles from her home when the attack happened.

Friends identify her as Donna Crews — a Seattle grandmother and all-around determined woman.

Witnesses say it was that determination at play just after 3 p.m. Monday when a man approached her car in the 4400 block of Woodland Park in the Fremont neighborhood and then tried to take it and drive away.

“She was already yelling for help, turned around and she was on the hood of the car screaming for help, hanging on to the windshield wipers,” witness Clark Morgan said.

The thief eventually jolted Crews from the hood of the car and took off.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Crews’ friend Jennifer Kakutani. “If something that she loves is there, she will do anything for it — and her phone and her purse and all of her belongings were in that car and she was not going to do anything to let it go.”

After the carjacking, the thief didn't get far.

He allegedly led police on a car chase that ended at the corner of North 68th street and Dayton Avenue North in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood.

"First there was the suspect car, then there were two police cars following, and then a short time later there were two or three others,” witness Brent LaMotte said.

Police say carjackings can happen at any time and any of us could be a victim and it tends to happen close to home, primarily because as we get closer to home we tend to get comfortable and let our guard down.

"In fact, most carjackings happen five miles from a person's home."  Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound Executive Director Myrle Carner said.

Still, Carner says there are ways to protect yourself.

"Use your head. Be aware what's going, check your surroundings and when you hear about carjackings be even more careful,” Carner said.

Friends say Crews broke one of her knees and has some cuts and bruises but the good news is that she's going to be OK.

"I'm just so glad she's OK, and I look up to her,” Kakutani said.

The suspect was arrested and could be in court as early as Tuesday.

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4 comments

  • tiredofit

    Could we *please* just lock the criminals up for *long* sentences? Burglary 10 years first offense. Carjacking 15 years first offense. And the three strikes law is good, too. But let them have to serve 10 years between each of the three. I would gladly pay more in taxes just to cover the expense of putting them all away. We pay police to catch them and the police do a good job but then we let them all out to do it all over again a short time later. Enough, already!

  • Kenneth Briggs

    so lets have this bad boy buy the car plus a few thousand dollar more than blue book , after all his butt wanted that car so bad that he just took it from the lady , make him buy it and he spends a year in jail for that plus all other charges the police can come up with , but what ever make this scum pay for the car that he wanted so bad . even if he has no job right now he gets a job and pays for the car before he gets his license back , that should wake him up.

    • Kit

      I heard the chase through our neighborhood and saw this crash scene yesterday. It will be interesting to see who this suspect is, but I doubt if he’s ever had a job. He’s just another do- nothing leech on society.

  • Roy Martin

    The victim is a friend of mine. She’s a really good person, extremely generous. Principled, yes — though I think her trying to stop the crime was nuts. I’m sure she does too, now that she’s had time to think about it. In that moment, when the adrenaline kicks in, one’s response is primal. As strong and courageous as Donna is, I guess her first impulse was to be superwoman. She is a sort of superwoman, but no one’s a match for a moving car.