HOUSTON – A husband who was trying to protect his wife lost one of his legs and could end up losing the other.
Orlando Ballester Perez was pinned between a car and a van while he was attempting to stop a carjacking near the intersection of Woodfair and Deering drives in Southwest Houston on Monday night, according to police.
Perez, 47, and his wife stopped at a gas station, and when Perez got out to go inside the store, police said, he left the keys in the ignition.
That's when the thief struck, attempting to steal the car with Perez's wife still inside.
Perez clung to the hood of the car as the suspect drove away. Police said the suspect started swerving in an attempt to throw Perez off the hood.
About a block away, the suspect crashed into a van, pinning Perez and severing one of his legs.
What witnesses said
The driver of the van that the suspect crashed into said he was headed to the store when he saw the car coming straight at him.
Nelson Ventura said it wasn't slowing down. He also said he never saw Perez on the hood.
Ventura said he won't forget the sound of agony coming from Perez as he was pinned between the car and the van.
Ventura said he is dealing with a sore back and bruised ribs, but he's thankful to be alive.
Search for suspect
The suspect ran from the scene, according to police.
Police described the suspect as being about 240 pounds with a husky build. They said he was wearing white and black shorts and was wearing a white and black do-rag. Police said he had dreadlocks.
Police are searching for surveillance video in the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).