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'I Put Him In A Headlock': Woman Thwarts Attempted Carjacking In Worcester

WORCESTER (CBS) - A Connecticut man is under arrest -- and a young Worcester woman is happy she wasn't badly hurt -- after an attempted carjacking over the weekend.

It was two o'clock Saturday morning when a 24-year-old nursing assistant named Julitssa (she asked to use only her first name) was making her way home from a friend's house -- when her good deed turned into a violent struggle.

She was driving on Park Avenue in Worcester when she saw a car veer off the road and hit a pole and made the decision to stop and help.

Worcester carjacking
Julitssa fights off a man who attempted to carjack her in Worcester (WBZ-TV)

Police say the injured driver was 40-year-old William Vasbinder -- and things quickly went sour.

"It was kind of fight or flight," says Julitssa. "And I fought."

What Julitssa didn't know, was that the wrecked car was stolen.

And so, as she stood nearby calling 911, she said Vasbinder tried to steal her running Nissan Rogue, as she jumped back in to thwart him.

"At first I bit him," she says, "and I think that startled him into kind of stopping the car. Then I put him in a headlock to drive him out of the car."

Julitssa (WBZ-TV)

Surveillance video from a car wash shows the Nissan lurch forward but come to a quick stop as the pair tussle for control of the SUV.

"But his foot was on the gas," Julitssa says, "so my next step was to shut off the ignition."

Julitssa says she might've blacked out for a moment or two -- even as she second-guessed her decision to be a Good Samaritan. "I literally saw you fly into a pole," she says. "I got worried for you -- tried to help. In return, you tried to steal my car and tried to beat me up."

Julitssa says the struggle seemed like forever -- even though it was less than 45 seconds -- until Vasbinder climbed out and ran and responding police arrested him a few blocks away.

He's facing several charges -- including carjacking and assault. He was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on November 23.

"It was scary," she says. "Very scary."

Julitssa works with recovering addicts and says drugs and needles fell out of the suspect's pockets into her SUV during the struggle.

"If you want to ruin your life then ruin your own life," she says. "But don't drag other people along."

Julitssa is wearing a mask -- and taking a couple of days off from work -- because police told her the suspect has Covid -- and she's now waiting for her test results.

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