Aurora girl escapes carjacker while dad jumps on accomplice's hood
After seeing a man get into his car and drive off with his daughter in the back seat, Mark Beasanski will never again leave the keys in the ignition while pumping gas. In fact, he'll make sure to lock the car at all times, he said.
"I started punching the window, letting him know my kid was in the car. She was screaming, but he didn't even look back. He didn't care," the Aurora man said. "You just don't expect someone to jump into the car. There are crazy people out there."
Beasanski and his 11-year-old daughter, Kayla, reacted quickly when a man -- later arrested by police -- carjacked Beasanski's Jeep Cherokee early Friday morning at a gas station on the 1200 block of North Eola Road, down the street from Beasanski's house. The two were on their way to Chicago, where Kayla goes to school.
The store clerk posted security video on Facebook that shows Kayla falling to the ground out of the moving car as Beasanski runs and jumps on the hood of the blue Dodge Charger driven by the carjacker's accomplice. The video shows Beasanski walking back after a few seconds and embracing his daughter. "I just reacted the best I could," Beasanski said.
Tyrelle L. Pulley, 20, of the 5000 block of South Princeton Avenue in Chicago, was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and fleeing and eluding police.
Any accomplices haven't been arrested yet, police Sgt. Eric Westrom said.
This was Aurora's first carjacking this year, Westrom said. There were four carjackings in 2017, five in 2016, none in 2015, three in 2014 and two in 2013, he said.
"We haven't had too many of those," he said. "I don't see it as an issue."
Beasanski's decision to lock the car at all times from now on is exactly what people should do, Westrom said.
"The advice is to turn your car off and take the keys with you, and lock your car if you need to go into the station to pay or do something," he said. "Especially if you're going to leave kids in the car, make sure the vehicle is locked."
Kayla suffered a cut on her ankle and is shaken up, but she's overall OK, her father said. "You feel helpless. You can't do nothing about it," he said. "A person versus a car, it's not very easy to win it."
As for Kayla, "she did everything right," he said. "She was scared. ... I just told her that most people in the world are pretty good, but there's always those people out there that want to cause harm."
As in Aurora, carjackings are not common in Schaumburg and Elgin, according to police in those suburbs.
Schaumburg police Sgt. Christy Lindhurst said there was one attempted carjacking in January, and there have been one or none each year for the past five years.
There were no vehicular hijackings reports in Elgin this year, according to preliminary information from police spokeswoman Kristie Hilton.
Local news media have reported a steady increase in carjackings in Chicago since 2014. This year, there have been 271 carjackings in the city, compared to 279 in the same period last year, Chicago police Sgt. Rocco Alioto said.
• Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.