A 12-year-old girl saved herself and her sister by lashing out at an adult carjacker after he tried to seize the vehicle.
Last weekend, a 12-year-old girl named Maddie Weiler came to her sister’s rescue when an adult carjacker attempted to steal the family car and with it, herself and her 7-year-old sibling, Molly.
The incident began when Maddie’s mom Brandie Weiler, spotted a car accident on the way to the Busch Gardens theme park in Virginia. Immediately, she pulled over. Shortly after jumping out of the vehicle to assist the victims, 21-year-old Paul Salsman crept to the side of the car in which Maddie and Molly sat.
According to Fox News, Salsman was responsible for causing the accident and likely sought a quick get-away car. He wasn’t expecting resistance from a brave 12-year-old girl, however.
Brandie recalls calling 911 then looking back toward the car in which her children sat. She then saw Salsman reach in through the window, unlock the door, then climb into the driver’s seat.
“I could see him going towards the van, and I’m screaming,” commented Brandie.
According to Maddie, “He was saying all these things like, ‘Let’s go’ and ‘I need to get to this place’.” As a result, she sprung into action by putting the van into drive, aware that it would not start in that position. Then, she started punching the criminal as hard she could, screaming at the top of her lungs. The commotion allowed Molly enough time to get out of the car and away from the danger.
After the fit Maddie threw, Salsman reportedly attempted to steal two more cars before being arrested by the police. As a result of his actions, he has been charged with three counts of felony carjacking, felony hit and run, and driving under the influence of drugs.
Because Maddie is a horseback rider, she didn’t think twice about attacking the perpetrator. She told her mother:
“Mama, if I can control a 1,500-pound animal, then I was sure going to try to take care of him.”
The event might have ended very differently if Maddie’s parents hadn’t instructed her and her sister to resist kidnapping by lashing out and making as much noise as possible. She may have suffered a fractured growth plate in her wrist from punching Salsman, but the injury is a small price to pay for having saved herself, her sister, and the family’s vehicle. The 12-year-old encourages other young kids to fight, too, if they ever find themselves in similar situations.
“I just went for it,” Maddie told WTKR. “Nothing passed my mind except, ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car’.”
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