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Woman Turns Attempted Carjacking Into Demolition Derby

November 27, 1992

VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (AP) _ A feisty 73-year-old widow who foiled a carjacking by driving like a movie stunt woman says she was frightened but determined not to let her assailants win.

Anne Stern zoomed over lawns, rammed the car driven by her two assailants and slammed her car in reverse when one of them reached in through the window - dragging him until he finally let go.

″I’m just surprised and amazed that I did what I did,″ she said Friday.

Stern, a retired school secretary from New York City, was driving to a Thanksgiving gathering Thursday when two men pulled in front of her in this Long Island suburb and tried to stop her, police said.

″All of a sudden they stopped and blocked me so I couldn’t pass them,″ she continued. ″And one of them comes running over and starts banging on my window to get out.″

But she gunned her car over the curb and onto lawns. They pursued her.

″They sideswiped her and she apparently gave it right back,″ said Police Officer Tom Maksym. ″She sideswiped them and then drove into them again to run them off the road. They were banging off each other from side to side.″

By the time they blocked her again, she had the window down and was yelling for help. One of them came up, reached inside and grabbed for the steering wheel.

″I shot into reverse,″ she said. ″He didn’t let go and I hoped he wouldn’t let go ’cause I wanted to kill him. I was trying to kill him.″

Finally the man had enough. He dropped off, ran back to the car and fled with his companion. They hadn’t been caught by Friday afternoon.

Stern, said damage to her car included a bashed front fender, broken headlights and a flat tire.

Reflecting on the experience, Stern said she was ″more determined to fight back than to be frightened. Of course I was frightened, but I wasn’t shaking.″

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