Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seat belt thwarts carjacker?

When my rant begins with “You gotta be kiddin’ me,” you know you’re going to get an earful.

I just finished reading a news story online with such an asinine headline that it has earned my bonehead mainstream reporting award of the year.

The story is about a woman who was nearly the victim of a carjacking, except a trucker saw it and came quickly with a ball bat and the would-be carjacker ran off.

Good story about a courageous action by the trucker, eh? But wait. The headline is “Seat belt credited for preventing carjacking.”

Seat belt? What about the trucker, you morons?

According to Wauwatosa police, a woman driver was approaching a flashing yellow light and spotted a guy crossing the street. This was about 6 a.m. Friday. When she stopped to let him cross, he approached the car. Police said she tried to roll up her car window but “wasn’t quick enough” and got punched in the face.

That’s when he apparently opened the car door and tried to yank her out. Police said the seat belt prevented him from doing that. Then a truck driver saw the whole thing and approached the car with the baseball bat. Police said the carjacker “turned and ran off.”

The trucker, as is so frequently the case, remains an unnamed Samaritan.

Minnesota OOIDA Life Member Ray Shankle (he’s the one who tipped us off on this story) said he heard a radio report that said the trucker “displayed” the bat. When that happened, the thug ran off. Then the trucker got back into his truck and went back to work. Ray says he hopes the trucker “displayed the bat around the carjacker’s head and shoulders.” Ditto, Ray.

The story was published this week at Wauwatosa Now online. That’s a community newspaper owned by a chain of papers headquartered in Waukesha, WI.

Read the story yourself here. Be sure to post your comments, too.