(BAYTOWN, Texas) — A Texas mother’s determination to keep her family out of danger drove her to battle an alleged carjacker until he fled from her minivan — only to be struck by her vehicle as she tried to “stop him so he didn’t hurt anybody else,” the woman said.
While Dorothy Baker and her 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons were shopping Friday at a CVS in Baytown, Texas, a man identified as Ismael Martinez allegedly hid out in her unlocked van, police said.
When the family got back into the car, Baker said Martinez “popped up out of the backseat and said that if I didn’t want my kids to get hurt, that I would do exactly what he said.”
Martinez, 54, allegedly pulled a knife on Baker while she was driving and demanded she stop at an ATM for money, she said.
When she refused, Martinez allegedly became violent, she said.
Baker said she fought back, refusing to compromise the safety of her children.
“She’s got a cut that goes across her chest, and she grabbed the knife and he bit her hand,” Baker’s husband, Charles Flugence said.
“I took my fist and I hit him in the face, and I told him to get out of my car,” Baker said.
Baker intentionally drove her van into a telephone pole in hopes of sending Martinez through the front windshield, according to the Baytown Police Department crime report.
Police said she managed to dial 911 while she grappled with the suspect in hopes that a dispatcher might hear what was going on in the car and find a way to help, ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston reported.
“I thought, ‘If you swerve and hit the pole, he’s not wearing a seatbelt, he’ll go through the windshield or at least hit his head, and you can stop him. You can do something to make sure that he doesn’t hurt your kids,'” Baker told KTRK-TV. “That’s all I was thinking of really, was just to get him away from my kids.”
Police said Martinez eventually jumped out of the van and tried to flee. But before Baker knew it, she had run her car into him.
“I didn’t mean to run him over,” she said. “I was just trying to stop him so he didn’t hurt anybody else.”
Martinez was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with serious injuries after the alleged attack. He is expected to face felony charges once he is discharged.
Meanwhile, Baytown residents have rallied around Baker’s bravery.
“She was trying to protect herself and her kids. I would do the same thing,” resident Joyce Sparks said.
But Baker said she is just glad her family is safe.
“You don’t come after people with kids,” she said. “I told him he messed with the wrong witch.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan, Ed Lavandera and Boris Sanchez, CNN
Caroline Kenny, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN