WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WSVN) — A 12-year-old girl in Virginia is being hailed a hero after she stopped a man from stealing her mom’s car, with her and her sister inside.
Brandie Weiler was driving with her two daughters, 12-year-old Maddie and 7-year-old Mollie, when they witnessed a car accident. Brandie pulled over, and got out of the car to help the victims and call 911.
That is when the man who caused the accident, later identified as Paul Salsman, went over to the car and climbed in the driver’s seat.
He tried to take off, but Maddie decided to fight.
“I just started punching him, and screaming as loud as I could,” Maddie told reporters. “I just went for it. Nothing passed my mind except, ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car.’”
Then Maddie realized there was another way to keep the man from driving.
“I put the car in drive because that’s a safety feature on the van, and held it there,” she said.
With the transmission in drive, Maddie knew Salsman could not start the car.
The Weilers have plenty of police officers and firefighters in their family, and her father, Steven, said they had gone over how to fight off potential abductors.
“She has always been told if anyone tries to take you — kick, scream, bite, hit, gouge out their eyes, whatever you have to do,” he said.
Police said the man tried to steal two other cars before officers arrived at the scene. He had to be tasered twice before he was taken into custody.
Salsman was charged with three counts of felony carjacking, felony hit and run, and driving under the influence of drugs.
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