A Riverside County woman was carjacked in broad daylight at a Hemet shopping center in a terrifying encounter caught on surveillance video.
The victim said she was still shaken up by the horrifying experience that happened right outside a Boost Mobile store.
This is where police say a man tried to steal a truck and kidnap the woman inside.
“I was one of the ones that thought it couldn’t happen to me but it did,” Whitney White said.
On Monday around 2 p.m., White was in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend’s truck.
He had just parked and gone inside Boost Mobile when White saw a man walking by.
“And I glance up, and he’s just staring at me — hard staring at me. It sent shivers down my spine. I looked down at my tablet and tried to not make eye contact,” she said.
Her boyfriend had left the truck running. Seconds later she says the stranger jumped inside.
“I was like ‘what are you doing?’ And he’s all, ‘I’m taking you home.’ ‘No, you’re not. My boyfriend is in the store.What are you doing? Get out.” And he’s all, ‘I’m your boyfriend now. I’m taking you home,” she recalled.
She says she tried to get out of the truck but the man pulled her back, so she began to fight him as he tried to back the truck up.
“I grabbed the shifter and tried slamming it into park. He was slapping my arms away and everything trying to get me to stop,” she said. “I was literally fighting for my life and I’m so thankful my boyfriend was there.”
Her boyfriend, Bill Palmer, sSaw what was happening and ran to the truck.
“So when I opened the truck I started bombing on him, just started hitting him with everything I had trying to rip him out of the truck,” he said.
But he says the carjacker put it into reverse and floored it.
“We shot out across the parking lot, jumped the bushes, missing cars, missing people and I’m being dragged along with the truck wasn’t going to let him get away,” he said.
Seconds later, they were finally able to stop the man and Palmer pulled him out.
“He hit face first and it knocked him out,” he said.
Palmer suffered injuries to his hand and arm. His truck was also damaged from front to back.
But White was physically OK.
She says when she saw the man’s face, she recognized him as a former neighbor when she was a child.
“I was like 5 years old when I lived next door to him and it’s been like 25 years,” she said.
She says she has no idea if the man recognized her as well.
Hemet police identified him as 33-year-old Chad Michael Arviso.
“I’m scared to go out now. I look at everybody as if they’re going to do something to me and I lock my doors now,” she said.
She is hoping others will see this story and take it as a warning.
“Lock your doors because it can happen to you. It can,” White said.
Investigators believe Arviso was under the influence of some type of drug. He faces several charges including carjacking and attempted kidnapping.
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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