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Elderly woman thankful for stranger who stepped in when a man tried to carjack her at Heinen's

Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 09:11:41-04

Nearly carjacked while sitting in a busy parking lot, an elderly women is sharing her ordeal with News 5.

She hopes to encourage all of us to step up and get involved when we see a neighbor in need.

The 86-year-old was in the Heinen's parking lot in Shaker Heights, listening to the radio and reading while waiting for her daughter to come out.

She had no idea, but a strange man was lurking behind her car.

Turner may not have noticed the strange acting man near her car, but Valerie Morgan did.

"It was something about the way that he looked that made me notice it and I watched him for a while," Morgan said.

Morgan, who was parked next to Turner, looked away for just a second and noticed things escalated.

"In the brief moment that I turned to get my purse he had jumped in the back seat of her car," said Morgan.

Turner, caught off guard, thought it was a joke.

"He said drive the car, drive the (expletive) car," said Turner.

The elderly woman realized it was no laughing matter when the young man reached around the front seat.

"He put his hands against my face, that's when I knew I was in deep trouble," said Turner.

RELATED: Sketch released of man who tried to carjack elderly woman at Heinen's in Shaker Heights

That's when Morgan flung open her door and yelled at the suspect - scaring him away.

"Was I nervous, heck yes, my heart was pounding, but you do what you have to do," said Morgan.

Turner said a guardian angel was parked next to her that day.

"She chose to be involved and I'm enterally grateful," said Turner.

Turner said it is hard to imagine what might have happened if Morgan didn't notice what was going on inside her car.

"I don't know. I shutter to think. He meant business," said Turner.

Morgan hopes she inspires others to act.

"Be willing to help others. And sometimes you may not know what to do, you just kinda react," said Morgan.

Morgan helped police come up with a sketch of the suspect. He is between 18 and 21 years old and was wearing a grey hoodie and bright colored socks.

Despite Heinen's being in a very busy shopping plaza, Shaker Heights Police tell News 5 there is no surveillance video of the attempted carjacking.