A Long Island man faces robbery, assault and child endangerment charges after allegedly attempting to carjack a vehicle that had two children in it and, once behind the wheel, running over the legs of a child that had tried to escape.
Detectives say Ashburn Neysmith, 52, jumped through a rear passenger window of a four-door Ford that was being driven by a 31-year-old woman in Hempstead on Monday. The woman's 12-year-old and 6-year-old sons were in the car at the time.
Sharon Washington, an aunt of the driver, told NBC 4 New York Neysmith ran and dove into back seat of the car, on top of the children.
"He's swinging his hands and kicking and saying, 'Get out, get out, get out!'" said Washington.
Neysmith landed on the 6-year-old child when he jumped through the window, injuring the boy's right knee, police said. He then demanded the woman turn over the vehicle and climbed into the front passenger seat while forcing her out of the car, detectives said.
The 12-year-old boy tried to get out of the car as Neysmith started to drive away, but he got trapped and Neysmith drove over his legs, causing injuries to both ankles, detectives said.
"When he tried to get out, his seatbelt was still wrapped around him, so his body was on the ground, one foot was under the tire," said Washington. "And he's hysterical down there, and couldn't get up."
A group of neighbors heard the child's screams and ran to help, blocking the vehicle and holding Neysmith until police arrived.
"You could hear the little guy, he was screaming," recounted Ron Chambers. "So me and my friend, instantly, we just took off."
Fueled by the urgency of the moment, Chambers and his friend lifted the car to help free the child.
Neysmith was charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Police said Neysmith didn't know the driver but is friends with her grandfather.
Information on an attorney wasn't immediately available.
The boy wasn't seriously hurt. He was treated and released from the hospital, and is resting at home.