MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A mother’s worst nightmare had a happy ending courtesy of four good Samaritans who gave chase after her one-year-old son was kidnapped from a gas station.
LaTonya Dodson said she was carjacked almost as soon as she stepped out of her car during a trip to the Save & Go on Park Avenue at Airways around 11:55 p.m. Monday.
Her one-year-old son, Justin, was in the backseat.
“In a split second, her door closed, the car pulled off and she just started screaming, ‘My baby is in there! My baby is in there!’” said Dodson’s friend, LaTosha Rodgers, who was at the next pump over.
Rodgers said she and her three companions immediately gave chase in their own car, determined to find Dodson’s car and the frightened one-year-old in the back.
“I was giving the police every street corner that we turned, every intersection that we crossed,” said another good Samaritan who asked to remain anonymous.
Eventually the car slowed down on a dead-end street, and Rodgers got her next surprise when the driver jumped out and began running.
“The way the car was being driven you would have thought it was a man, so I was shocked when, ‘Hey, this is a female,’” Rodgers said.
But all that mattered at that point was Justin’s well-being.
Luckily, he was fine aside from a seat belt that had become tangled around his neck.
“He was just hollering, screaming and crying. I took him out of the seat belt, and he immediately stopped crying and just held onto me. He was happy, he knew he was safe,” said the anonymous good Samaritan.
Dodson was cited for leaving her son unattended.
She said she takes responsibility and is just glad to have him back.
“That’s all I can do is thank God that she didn’t do anything to my baby,” Dodson said.
A manager at Save & Go confirmed surveillance cameras captured the carjacking, but he declined to show WREG the footage.