DES MOINES, Iowa — Police say a dramatic carjacking on Des Moines’ east side Wednesday night led to three separate police chases, a crash and a 19-year-old victim dragged by the stolen vehicle.
The victim, 19-year-old Alexis Stonehocker said she stopped by quick trip on her way to her boyfriend’s house around 8 p.m. on Wednesday to grab some drinks and left her car running out front.
“When I went inside I came back out and all of a sudden I saw somebody in my car and I was like okay that’s kind of weird and I asked her what she was doing and she proceeded to lock the doors,” Stonehocker said.
She said the woman then told her several stories about how she felt unsafe and got in Alexis’s car to get away from someone.
After police were already on their way Alexis asked the woman to get out and the woman responded by putting the car in reverse.
“So I just tried to jump in and at that point when I wasn’t able to really like get into her lap per say, at that point I just kind of held on to her and tried pulling her out of my car as easily as I could with her driving,” Stonehocker said.
Stonehocker said she was dragged about 15 to 20 feet across the QT parking lot trying to stop the woman from stealing her car.
“At first I thought I almost would have died because I thought I was going to get pinned up against the car and the pillar, the brick wall pillar and so thankfully I let go enough in time and I was able to I think it’s probably about like 20 feet away from where I was originally at and I was by the gas pumps on the ground,” Stonehocker said.
Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said a police officer had just arrived at QT when he saw the suspect start driving away, so the officer chased after her.
“It was very high speeds she had her headlights off it was very dangerous and we went ahead and called that part of the chase off. It was a short time later polk county picked it up they also called it off for the same reasons the speeds were way too high for the traffic conditions at that time. Not too long after that one of our traffic unit officers spotted the car again on interstate 235 conditions were a little bit better for us to pursue at that time they tried to stop her she again took off and lead us back into the city where at about east 14th and university she collided with another car,” Sgt. Parizek said.
Parizek said after the crash officers were able to arrest 31-year-old Mai Xiro.
Xiro was taken to the Polk County Jail and charged with first degree robbery, eluding, OWI and driving without a license.
Luckily those in two other vehicles involved in the crash weren’t seriously injured and Stonehocker only had road rash, a concussion and some bruises.
“A car can be replaced but you can’t so don’t risk your life trying to save a car,” Stonehocker said.