By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — A quick getaway didn’t get a carjacker very far in Boston’s South End neighborhood Thursday afternoon, crashing the vehicle into a van just a block from where police say he abducted a 29-year-old woman and took off with her.

“It was a big boom and smoke coming out. You could see the guy jump out and the lady coming out of the car yelling she had just been carjacked,” said a witness who did not want to be identified.

The car came to a halt on West Dedham Street and when the woman got out, “she was pretty beat up, he had pushed her down, and she was bleeding and a little bit burned from the air bag,” said Nivia Pina, who owns a nearby restaurant and brought the panicked victim inside to calm her down.

It started on nearby Waltham Street, as the visiting medical student opened the door to her car and was overwhelmed by 36-year-old Joel Cartegena of Woburn. Police say he pulled her hair and pushed her in, then jumping behind the wheel.

After the crash it was witnesses who started chasing him and they believe the impact of the crash caught up with him. “The hit must have got him drowsy, he was clueless,” said a witness. So disoriented the neighbors had him when police arrived.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

“In that short amount of time civilians became involved and interacted with police giving information to do our job,” said Superintendent Randall Halstead. The suspect chose afternoon rush hour to allegedly commit the crime and witnesses say the crash gave the victim the break she needed to escape. “Thank God this happened or who knows what would have happened to that lady.”

Cartegena has been charged with carjacking, kidnapping and assault and battery.


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