Melissa Smith became one of the Internet’s newest heroes on Wednesday when video of her jumping on the hood of her car to stop it from being stolen hit the web and became a viral sensation.
The 27-year-old Milwaukee resident was pumping gas into her white SUV and checking her email at a BP gas station when an unnamed carjacker slipped out of the back seat of a nearby black sedan and into the front seat of her car.
He then attempted to steal the vehicle — but not before Smith had the chance to realize what was happening. Springing into action, she climbed on the hood of her car — screaming and holding on it as the thief began to drive away.
“It’s one of those holy s— moments,” she told NBC Milwaukee affiliate WTMJ. “[I said to myself], ‘This is not happening to me today.’ So I jumped on the top and held on for dear life.”
Her tactic worked. The driver eventually abandoned the car, running back into the black sedan from which he came and driving away.
Smith couldn’t go after him though. She was too busy getting off the hood and back into her car, which was now slowly rolling into the street.
After stopping the car, video shows her getting back out and sliding down to the street in relief as patrons rush to her side.
“I can’t believe that I reacted like that,” Smith said. “I probably think I’m tougher than I really am.”
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She said that police, who are still on the lookout for suspects, told her what she did was rare — and perhaps not in a good way.
“The police said mostly women run in the other direction and go ask for help and don’t hop on top of their car,” Smith explained. “They told me it was not the smartest.”
And though the their didn’t get her vehicle, he did get away with her purse, phone, sunglasses and wallet. “He laughed at me the entire time,” Smith said. “So zero remorse.”
As for what she would do differently next time, Smiths said she wouldn’t have been on her phone or left her keys in the car.