Child escapes minivan moments before thief drives off from Detroit gas station
DETROIT (WJBK) - Shocking moments were caught on video as a young child barely escaped a car thief at a gas station in Detroit.
A stranger got into a woman's van as she was inside the gas station -- and her 7-year-old daughter was still inside the car. Surveillance video shows the little girl escaping the van just moments before the suspect speeds off.
When Mom realized what was happening, she screamed out that her car was being stolen and started running after her car. You can see in the surveillance video, though, she didn't see that her child had safely escaped. The child ran straight inside the gas station, where Good Samaritan Musab Qusem helped keep her safe.
You can see in the video the van's sliding door was still open as the suspect drove off.
Meanwhile, Mom got into a car with another customer and they drove off after her van, thinking her child was still inside.
Qusem says he was back at the gas station with the girl for about a half hour before Mom came back. Police say the suspect got away in the woman's 2004 gold Pontiac Montana minivan.
"Honestly, all I wanted to do was save that girl. A thousand things were going through my mind at that moment but I just wanted to bring her in and keep her safe," Qusem told us. He says she was very scared, and that they helped calm her down and gave her candy and a phone to play with while they waited.
He says he doesn't even work at the gas station, that he was just there helping out his cousin. He says he almost cried when the little girl and her mom were finally reunited. He says Mom came back with another family member.
"I felt like I was watching a movie," he said.
You can see the shocking video of the whole ordeal in the video player above, as well as an image of the suspect. He's seen walking without a shirt on, with a neon yellow shirt slung over his shoulder.
Police describe the suspect as being 6 feet 2 inches tall with a medium complexion. He was also wearing ripped jeans and sunglasses.
This happened at the Valero gas station on Dexter near Elmhurst on Detroit's west side.