An Atlanta woman had the fight of her life when she was carjacked near the Pine Hills neighborhood in Brookhaven on Nov. 2, according to police reports.
She was aided by bystanders who witnessed the woman get dragged down the street and run over by her own vehicle as she tried to fight off her assailant, all with her toddler daughter in the backseat, according to a police report.
Morgan Nicole Vila, a 28-year-old Decatur woman, was charged with two counts of kidnapping, first-degree hijacking of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, battery, cruelty to children, two counts of obstruction of officers, hit and run, reckless driving and hit and run resulting in serious injury.
According to a Brookhaven arrest report, the incident unfolded just after 4:30 p.m. as Sandra Peralta, 28, was sitting in her car at a red light at the intersection of Buford Highway and North Druid Hills Road. She later told police she noticed Vila walking erratically through traffic tugging on door handles. The suspect tugged on her rear handle and was able to enter the vehicle and attack her with the woman’s 1-year-old daughter in the backseat.
Peralta told officers she got out of the car to drag Vila out of the back seat, attempting to protect her daughter. Vila is accused of climbing into the driver’s seat and accelerating into the vehicle in front of them then speeding across the center median. Peralta, who was still clutching to the driver’s side door and was dragged before she lost her grip and was run over with the vehicle.
Two witnesses picked Peralta up and pursued her car in their vehicle. They later corroborated what the victim told officers.
Police found the car crashed on the sidewalk about two blocks away near the Jackson Square Condominiums. An off-duty U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent who witnessed the carjacking told officers he followed Vila from the scene and tackled her after she crashed the vehicle, detaining her until Brookhaven officer arrived to take her into custody.
Peralta was able to recover with her daughter, who according to the report, was crying hysterically.
She was taken to Grady Hospital and the child was rushed to Egleston Hospital. Both were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released, Brookhaven Police Department spokesman Lt. David Snively said.