97-year-old carjacking victim shares her ordeal

Police have arrested a man accused of carjacking a 97-year-old woman.

The incident happened in the parking lot of the Warren Home Depot last Friday.

"I was praying in my heart that I would be alright, that he wouldn't harm me," said Leola Washington.  

She left her walker at home, waiting in her son's 2011 Malibu while he went into the store. That's when she says the man approached.

"Someone opened (the door), I looked and it was a man," she said. "He said 'Get out of the car, get out of the car'  That was all he said to me.

"I don't get around very fast, so it took me awhile. He waited until I got out of the car.

"I can't walk without my walker chair, so I fell right down on the pavement." 

With Leola laying in the middle of the parking lot, the man drove off in her son's car. Luckily a nearby customer came to Leola's rescue.

"She came took me in her arms and she stayed right with me," Leola said. "Until my son came out of the place."

The suspect didn't get far. Warren police were able to get General Motors to activate the OnStar navigation system, they were able to track the car to Walter's Shopping Place in Hamtramck and arrested the suspect on the spot.

Police say the man behind the wheel was 28-year-old Damian Jablonowski.

Security camera video shows the suspect pull into the store with that same black Malibu. Moments later, Warren police pull up and take him down.

"I don't think he's a man, I don't know what you call him," Leola said. "Somebody who would do like that to a 97 year-old woman."

Jablonowski has been charged with carjacking and driving with a suspended license. He's being held on a $250,000 bond.

As for Leola, she is glad she survived such an horrific ordeal and credits her faith for getting her through.

"God's blessing," she said. "God has his arms around me."


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