STOCKTON (CBS13) — It was a bold move from an attempted carjacker caught on camera. Stockton Police say 22-year-old Elijah Cervantes attempted to steal a mother’s SUV while her children were in the backseat.
“He just started hitting my mom,” said 11-year-old Isaiah, who was in the backseat with his younger brothers during the incident.
The family was delivering supplies to their taco truck on El Dorado Street near Hammer Lane at the time.
“I was in my mom’s car playing my game and out of nowhere some guy just hopped into the back,” Isaiah said.
In a moment of fight or flight, Isaiah’s mom Patricia Ontiveros chose to fight back, hitting the suspect even honking to alert her husband.
“My husband he got his thumb bit,” Ontiveros said.
Surveillance video shows the tense moments as her husband and a group of Good Samaritans quickly snatched the suspect out of the SUV.
“We want them to do almost exactly what this mother did yesterday,” said Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.
Silva says by honking to get someone’s attention, Ontiveros likely saved her family’s life, but she credits her husband and the good samaritans.
“I thank God. It’s a blessing we are here and nothing happened. Imagine if he would have had a gun or a knife or something,” Ontiveros said.
Police arrested Cervantes for attempted carjacking, later discovering the suspect was on parole for robbery.
The Ontiveros family is still healing from the traumatic experience but is grateful for mom’s quick thinking and the Good Samaritans that made a difference.
“I feel thankful, very thankful that they were there,” Isaiah said.