ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A violent carjacking Monday morning left a St. Petersburg woman feeling fortunate she wasn't seriously hurt.
Alexandra Rote, 54, was pumping air into her tires at a Wawa gas station on 22nd Avenue North at a little after 11 a.m. and had left her car running.
A few seconds later, a stranger was in her driver's seat.
"I'm like, 'whoa, what's going on?' Rote told FOX 13. "I started to grab him and he just started to push me and punch me and he was shouting obscenities, which I won't repeat, and I was trying to honk the horn. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, 'help me, help me, help me!' And then he finally pushed me to the ground and he ran over my foot as he took off and escaped."
St. Petersburg Police believe the suspect is a young teenager, between 14 and 16 years old.
"The last thing you expect is for somebody to jump in and try to steal your car. And then to go as far as to punch you and hurt you in an effort to get away with it," said Yolanda Fernandez, a spokesperson for St. Pete Police. "It's a violent crime, it's a very serious so we want to make sure that we catch him."
Rote said it took several hours for the reality of the ordeal to begin setting in.
"It was terrifying. I'm still I guess a little in shock. I just broke down and cried for the first time," she said. "I feel like I'm a strong person and I tried really hard to fight him back, but I couldn't."
Rote has a badly injured foot, along with some cuts and bruises. She's already had the locks to her apartment changed because her keys were in the vehicle.
But above all, she felt fortunate she's already back on her feet.
"I guess he could have pulled a gun out and shot me, so I'm really blessed and I'm thankful that I'm here and I'm talking to you," she said. "I have an angel watching out for me."
The stolen car is a 2012 white Scion XD hatchback. Anyone with information about the vehicle or suspect is asked to call police.