CLEVELAND — One Cleveland woman became the victim of a failed carjacking attempt in her own front yard.
Anna Perlmutter said quick thinking and the carjacker’s lack of automobile knowledge may have saved her and her toddler’s life.
Surveillance footage from a neighbor’s home shows a hectic scramble after the failed carjacking attempt where Perlmutter was held at gunpoint by multiple people wearing ski masks.
“It seemed like a jumble of confusion honestly,” Perlmutter said. “And the one that had put the weapon in my face tried to start the car but couldn’t.”
Perlmutter said her maternal instincts kept her calm during the chaos.
“I said, ‘I have a kid in the car. I have a kid,’ And he said ‘Get the kid out. Get the kid out,’” Perlmutter told News 5.
The armed carjacker, who Perlmutter believes is a teenager, told her he didn’t want to hurt her, but demanded her keys.
Without hesitation, she grabbed her three-year-old daughter from the back seat, hand over the keys to her Toyota and ran inside to call 911.
“I guess I was sort of expecting to never see my car again,” Perlmutter said.
From inside her own home, she had a front row seat to the botched carjacking attempt.
“Watched them try to start the car and fail,” Perlmutter said. “And then kind of all scatter in this really haphazard way. They didn’t seem to have it very well planned out.”
Their plans to get away in Perlmutter’s car were derailed.
Her Toyota stayed parked where she left it, and the group of masked people took off on foot when they realized they couldn’t operate a stick shift.
“I don’t even know if they teach how to drive these in schools anymore,” Perlmutter said.
Perlmutter said she doesn’t want retribution and doesn’t plan to pursue criminal charges.
“I’m able to put myself in their shoes and try to be empathetic and compassionate to their worlds,” Perlmutter said.
Instead, she hopes the suspected teenagers will have a revelation and pursue a different path moving forward with their lives.
“I don’t understand the perspective that someone would have to be in to put a gun in someone’s face and make them that scared or even commit a worse crime like real violence,” Perlmutter said. “But I do feel like I have compassion toward the people who did that and imagine that there’s a lot going on in their lives that would’ve driven them to do so.”
Police have obtained the home surveillance footage from Perlmutter’s neighbor, but as of late Sunday no arrests have been made in relation to this case.
If you have any information you’re asked to contact the Cleveland Division of Police or Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County, Inc. at 216-252-7463.