PARMA, N.Y. (WROC) — A New York mom is recovering after being the victim of a carjacking in Parma on Friday. The incident resulted in a hospital visit for Anne Pelitera, of Hilton, after losing her car, most of her belongings inside, as well as gaining an added sense of fear.
While on her way to pick up her 8-month-old daughter Pelitera stopped into the Ridge Nickleback to return a bag of bottles and cans with her 16-year-old son. She said her son went into the store while she stayed back.
“I saw one man come toward my car from just out of nowhere and I just felt off about him. I walked back to the front of my car to get into my seat and he just jumped right in my seat and I just jumped right at him,” Pelitera said.
Once Pelitera realized her car was being stolen, she began to fight back at the individual.
“He was fighting me, swearing at me, we were hitting each other. He was struggling trying to get the car into drive and when he finally did, I was still holding on fighting him when he was driving my car,” Pelitera said.
Pelitera held on as long as she could and when she finally let go, another man ran out of the building, got in the passenger seat and sped off.
Allyson Tribotte is a manager at the bottle and can redemption center. When she heard the commotion, she said she ran outside.
“She was up here crying, so I ran to her. I thought she was hurt,” Tribotte said.
Tribotte said one of the men had come into the store to distract everyone inside while his partner stayed outside to obtain the car.
“It’s not like we had an empty parking lot of people. There were three or four cars here. Like who does this in broad daylight with a bunch of people around?” Tribotte said.
As for Anne Pelitera, she ended up checking out fine and was able to go home that night. She said she is thankful that neither of her kids were in the car at the time.
“If the kids were in the car, I would have fought until I basically died to be honest. And I just realized nobody’s in the car, stuff can be replaced,” Pelitera said.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the stolen vehicle was later spotted by a Greece Police Officer. After a failed attempt to stop the car, a pursuit ensued, ending in the area of Lorimer Street and Durkin Alley where police say the car crashed into a utility pole. The driver of the vehicle escaped but the passenger who police have identified as 30-year-old Luis Ocasio was taken into custody. Police said the arrest of the man driving is forthcoming, which is something Pelitera said she’s worried about.
“I just pray that it doesn’t happen to somebody else.” Pelitera said, “The violence is just, it’s a lot right now and it’s everywhere.”
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Officer, prior to this incident, the two males were involved in a rollover motor vehicle accident further down West Ridge Road, which witnesses claim occurred in the front yard of a family home with kids outside.
Ocasio has been charged with three counts of robbery in the second degree and was remanded to the Monroe County Jail by a Parma Town Justice.
Pelitera’s family has started a GoFundMe page to help her get back on her feet and replace some of the stolen items.