Uptown carjacking victim urges residents to rise up against crime

Uptown carjacking victims urges citizens to rise up against crime

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A husband and wife were moving cars around in the driveway of their Uptown home Tuesday night when they became carjacking victims.

"It was absolutely terrifying," the wife said. "My husband was in our van and I was in our tenant's car. I had just pulled his car into the street and my husband had just pulled our van back into the driveway."

She said she looked up to see a young man with a hood over his head approaching them on Pine Street.

"He pulled up the gun, just to let us know that he had a gun. He said, 'give me your keys.' That was the first thing he said," she said.

She said her husband handed over their keys when the gunman demanded money, too. She said they kept telling the robber they didn't have any. At the same time, the woman said she held her hand up high and began walking backwards through the yard, slowly stepping away from the gunman.

"I was kind of talking in a volume, hoping that someone heard me," she said. "I was just so scared. I didn't know whether to yell out for someone to call 911. I mean, he had a gun. At that point, I was just trying to think of a way to get him away from us."

She decided to toss the keys to her tenant's car to the gunman, as she ran to the neighbor's house for help. The victim said the gunman tried to steal her tenant's car, but he couldn't figure out how to start it.

"It was probably the scariest moment of my life. I had run, and I was hoping that my husband had run, too. But he couldn't. The guy didn't try very long to start the tenant's car," she said.

She said the gunman got out of the car and approached her husband. The gunman ordered him out of the van and then drove off in it.

"I was just shocked. I mean, this is a very safe neighborhood and this is something we were surprised by," resident Sheva Dematteo said.

Dematteo said they pay extra to have off-duty NOPD officers patrol their streets.

"So, you don't feel good about that, but in this situation, I don't know if they weren't working that night or what's up," he said.

While Dematteo said he'll be more careful in his neighborhood, the victim believes more must be done.

"I just frustrates me that our beautiful, wonderful city with so many fabulous people, we're being held hostage by this element that lives in our city. I don't understand why people aren't rising up, because we do all need to work together to start working for a solution to this problem," she said.

The stolen van was a blue Honda Odyssey. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

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