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Minneapolis Bartender Recovering After Brutal Attack

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Twin Cities bartender says she's lucky to be alive after someone carjacked, abducted and beat her Sunday night.

Jodi Novak, 47, says it happened as she was leaving a bar in northeast Minneapolis, but she doesn't remember a lot of what happened that night. She suffered a concussion, broken nose, bruises and two black eyes from a beating by people she doesn't know.

Novak says she stepped out for a couple of drinks at a bar, and decided she would do the responsible thing.

"I'm not going to drive my car. I remember calling the Lyft," Novak said.

She says she walked out of the bar and decided to go to her van to get a sweater before her rideshare arrived.

"I started walking up the street to where my car was parked and I don't, I don't remember anything after that," Novak said. "The next thing I know I woke up in the ambulance completely disoriented because I had a fairly severe concussion."

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She says she learned what happened to her from the people who witnessed her beating -- people who risked their lives to save hers.

"The female ... of this household said they looked out the window and they had dragged me out of the car and they were just beating me up in the middle of the street, so she said she immediately called 911 and her husband ran out and chased the guys off from continuing to beat me," Novak said.

Minneapolis police would only say they are investigating. The police report on file tells a different story than the one Novak told WCCO. Officers wrote witnesses say Novak's vehicle was being chased by a blue Chevrolet Suburban. When her vehicle stopped, a man and woman jumped out of their vehicle and began beating her. WCCO also spoke to that witness, who confirms this account.

Novak's friends say the bottom line is she was assaulted, and they hope investigators work to find out who did it. A fundraising campaign has been set up to help her with medical expenses.

Police are also looking for any video from homes on or near the 3500 block of Irving Avenue North to help identify the people responsible for this crime.

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