ENFIELD-- An elderly woman in her 70s was carjacked in the parking lot at Enfield Square Mall Monday afternoon in broad daylight.
Police say the unidentified woman exited Macy's and was getting into her car when a man approached her as she got in her car. Police say the suspect claimed there was something wrong with her tire, and asked her to get out so he could check the damage. The woman refused, sensing something was wrong, and the suspect became belligerent. The woman honked on her horn to draw attention to the situation at which point, police say the man hit the woman in the head, dragged her out of her car, and threw her to the pavement.
Police say the suspect then got in the car and drove it off.
An alert was put out on the woman's car, an Acura, and an Enfield Police officer spotted the car and followed it over the border into Longmeadow, Massachusetts. As the suspect tried to flee he drove into a snow bank, at which point he was taken into custody near Maple Road and George Washington Road.
"No matter how long you're in law enforcement, whenever you hear someone perpetrate violence on a defenseless, innocent person, whether it's a child or an elderly person, it turns your stomach," said Chief Carl Sferrazza of the Enfield Police Department.
Longmeadow Police arrested Juan Raphael Ortiz, 56 of Hartford. He was charged with receiving stolen property and being a fugitive from justice. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center and is being held on $100,000. Just an hour before the crime in Enfield yesterday Ortiz was in court on charges of escaping police custody, but those charges were dropped.
He now needs to be extradited back to Connecticut, which may take a few days.
"It's not just at night, it could be during the day and it doesn't mean that we have to be paralyzed with fear," said Sferrazza. "...It just means we have to kinda take a look, a little scan, know what's going on around us, and do the best we can."