HOUSTON – Houston businessman Neal Hamil thought he was close to becoming the city’s latest crime victim after two men and a woman tried to carjack him.
"I just wanted to get out of there," he said.
The trio, in their early to mid-20's, wore heavy winter coats, looked filthy and were driving a UHaul, according to Hamil.
"That frightened me when I saw how they were dressed, because I thought, 'These guys have weapons under their coats,'" Hamil said.
Hamil had just picked up his dog Ollie from the groomer and was headed home when the UHaul pulled up alongside him at the traffic light at West Alabama and Weslayan Streets and started honking the horn.
"They said, 'Your wheel is coming off, your wheel is coming off,' and I knew my wheel wasn't coming off because I would have felt it in the steering wheel," Hamil said.
Hamil continued west on West Alabama and the UHaul followed him. He turned left on Las Palmas and pulled over to the curb near some town homes and an apartment complex, thinking that if there were people around the people in the UHaul might leave him alone. Instead, they boxed him in.
He got out of the car with his keys and cellphone in his hand.
"They said, 'Sir, your wheel is coming off,'" Hamil said. "I said, 'I'm going to let the dog out and he's going to bite you and I'm going to call the police. You need to move that truck right now.' They said, 'Sir, calm down.'"
Hamil repeated himself, and that's when the trio jumped back in their truck and sped off.
“If you're not paying attention, it takes one split second for someone to catch you off guard and they've got you," Hamil said.