WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WTKR/CNN) — A 12-year-old Virginia girl fractured her wrist and saved the day, after punching a carjacker who tried to steal her mom’s van with her little sister still inside.
Maddie 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 on the highway.
Their mom pulled over to help. While she was on the phone with 911, police said the man who caused the accident managed to climb inside their vehicle.
The suspect tried to take off, but Maddie was ready to put up a fight.
“I just went for it,” she said. “Nothing passed my mind except, ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car’.”
She started punching the man and screaming for help. But she did one more thing to help protect her and her sister.
“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 loud as I could,” said Maddie.
Her actions allowed her little sister Mollie to make it out of the vehicle safely.
Maddie hails from a family of police officers and firefighters. Her parents say they had gone over situations like this numerous times with their children.
“She’s always been told if anyone tries to take you, kick, scream, bite, hit gouge out their eyes – whatever you have to do,” said Steven Weiler, Maddie’s dad.
Her dad said Maddie’s decision to put the car in drive to keep the engine from starting surprised even him.
Maddie suffered a fractured growth plate in her wrist for her bravery.
As for Salsman, he’s 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. Officers had to tase him two times before he was finally taken into custody.