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Carjackers, don't mess with Texas moms. That's what we learned from a mom in Baytown, Texas, who successfully fought off a carjacker with her two kids in the van.
Robbed at knifepoint by a man hiding in the back seat, Dorothy Baker-Flugence fought back by grabbing the weapon from her attacker and punching him in the face, Houston's KTRK-TV reports.
What happened next ended with the suspect, Ismael Martinez, being flown to a hospital.
Baker-Flugence told KTRK she decided she'd try to hit a telephone pole in order to disorient the attacker.
"I thought, 'If you swerve and hit the pole, he's not wearing a seatbelt, he'll go through the windshield or at least hit his head, and you can stop him. You can do something to make sure that he doesn't hurt your kids,'" she said.
For the frantic mom, "doing something" also involved calling 911 while wresting the knife away from Martinez, who bit her hand.
After she punched Martinez in the face, he jumped out of her van. That's when she deliberately ran over him.
While many may applaud the fierce mother's actions and protective spirit, you may be wondering if running over a fleeing suspect was necessary, justified, or even legal.
In Texas, someone may use deadly force in self-defense if the person knows or reasonably believes that someone has or is attempting to unlawfully enter by force the person's occupied home, vehicle, or place of business.
As you can see, Texas self defense laws are quite liberal, and would likely apply to the defense of a minivan carrying small children.
"That's all I was thinking of really, was just to get him away from my kids," Baker-Flugence said. While she ran over the man intentionally, she said she only wanted to stop him, not to seriously hurt him.
Chances are, Baker-Flugence's actions were within the state's "stand your ground" laws, which says there's no duty to retreat anywhere before using force in self-defense.
Martinez's criminal history includes rape and burglary convictions. He is expected to recover from his injuries, and will likely face charges related to his alleged carjacking attempt.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.