LOWELL (CBS) – A woman charged with carjacking after police say she crashed a stolen cab was ordered held without bail at a mental health facility after her arraignment Wednesday.

Leonilda Delacruz, 23, allegedly flagged down a taxi in Lowell but became angry when the driver said he was unable to take her. Police say the driver got out of the car when Delacruz continued to scream and jump in front of the taxi. She then punched the man, got into the driver’s seat and drove off.

Leonilda Delacruz appears in Lowell District Court (WBZ-TV)

The driver, 65-year-old Jimmy Gauthier, was dragged for several feet. Gauthier said he held onto the door until the taxi slammed into a utility pole.

According to prosecutors, Delacruz continued to drive after hitting the pole and eventually crashed the taxi into another car. After attempting to get into that car and failing, she ran away. Police caught up with her shortly thereafter.

The carjacked taxi (WBZ)

Delacruz’s defense said she suffers from mental illness and has a history of substance abuse. Her mother also told the defense that in the past few months, Delacruz’s anger, aggression, and paranoia had gotten worse.

She was charged with carjacking, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery of a person over 60. All of these charges are felonies.

Delacruz will also undergo a mental health evaluation and a dangerousness hearing.


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