WILLIAMSBURG, VA (WTKR/CNN) – Police said a 12-year-old girl stopped a man from stealing her mom’s car and kidnapping her and her little sister.
Stopping him was the only thing on the Maddie Weiler’s mind when the man tried to steal her mom’s car with her little sister inside.
“I just went for it, like nothing passed my mind except he’s a psycho and he needs to get out of the car,” Weiler said.
Weiler and her 7-year-old sister Mollie were on their way to Busch Gardens with their mom on Saturday, when they witnessed an accident..
Weiler’s mom pulled over to help, but while she was on the phone with 911, she said the man who caused the accident, Paul Salsman, approached her van with her two girls inside.
While the girls were waiting for their mom, police and Weiler said the suspect approached their vehicle, stuck his hand inside the car, unlocked the door and climbed inside.
He tried to take off, but Weiler was ready for a fight.
“I put the car in drive because that’s a safety feature on the van, and held it there. And I just started punching him, and screaming as loud as I could,” Weiler said.
Mollie was able to make it out of the vehicle and watched as her older sister gave Salsman a beat down.
Weiler hails from a family of police officers and firefighters. Her parents said they had gone over situations like this numerous times with their children.
But even her father said her decision to throw the car in drive to keep the engine from starting surprised him.
Maddie suffered a fractured growth plate in her wrist for her bravery, but her message to young girls is clear: never, ever give up.
Paul Salsman was charged with three counts of felony carjacking, felony hit and run and driving under the influence of drugs.
Police said he tried to steal two other vehicles before they arrived.
They said Salsman had to be tased two times before he was finally taken into custody.
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