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PD: Woman fights off carjacker to protect children

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    MESA, AZ (KNXV) — A Mesa woman fought off a carjacker to protect her children who were inside the car, according to court documents.

Mesa police report that on November 1, a woman was in her car with her two children at Gilbert Road and Southern Avenue waiting for the school bus to arrive.

Police say John Conrad Merrell, 59, opened the car door and shouted “Get out!” while pulling the woman out of the car. The car keys were still in the ignition, and the woman’s two children were inside the vehicle. The victim placed her hand in the door jamb to prevent Merrell from closing the door, police say.

Court records show that Merrell slammed the door on the woman’s hand several times, but she refused to let go. Merrell then allegedly broke the center console and used it to beat the woman on the head. Police later described the broken center console saying “it resembled a bowling pin.”

As the woman continued to fight, Merrell attempted to put the car in gear and leave. A witness, who was driving by, heard the woman’s cries for help and pulled Merrell from the vehicle. Merrell then attacked the witness with the console. Police say a second and later a third witness assisted with detaining Merrell for police.

Court records show that the woman’s hand was red, swollen and possibly broken.

Merrell was arrested for robbery, aggravated assault, and criminal damage.

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