Lake City (WVLT) -- A pregnant Anderson County woman is thankful she wasn't hurt after she fighting off a carjacker at a gas station. That suspected carjacker is now behind bars thanks to her courage and determination to keep him from driving away.
Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford sat down with Stephanie Miller and her husband Jason who said they were thinking of their unborn child the entire time.
"It was just another typical night to stop and get gas and maybe buy a lotto ticket," Jason said of the night last Thursday they stopped at the Lake City Citgo. "I was just standing there pumping gas. I just happen to look over at the corner of the build and I saw a guy standing there."
Lake City police say that guy was 45 year old Mark Alan Brooks, a homeless man with a long rap sheet.
Sitting in the passenger seat of their 1998 Saturn was Stephanie who is 5 months pregnant.
"He left me in the car to keep warm," she said. "By the time he was paying the guy came around and just sat in the car and said hi, and I was just kind of stunned."
Stephanie didn't stay stunned for long, her instincts quickly kicked in.
"He started to take off with me in the car so I grabbed the stick shift," she said. "He wasn't going to take me or my car, my baby, or anything."
Jason happen to glance out the gas station's window as the carjacker tried to take off. He immediately dropped his money at the counter and ran to his wife's rescue.
"I grabbed the key to kill the engine," he said, "and she had by then started punching him in the side and telling him to get out."
Susan hit the man continuously and with her husband they managed to push him out the door.
"He got out and ran back behind the store," Citgo attendant Susan Lewellyn said, "it took about 15 minutes or so and the cops finally found him."
Brooks is now behind bars thanks to the Millers. Police say he has been arrested numerous times since 1998 for several charges including theft, possession of drugs, evading arrest and assault.
"It's real scary," Susan says, "I never locked my doors going into a station to pay for my gas before, but now I do."
Stephanie looks at the carjacking as a realist.
"It could happen to you," she says, "yeah I fought back, I did, but I was thankful there wasn't a weapon because he could've hurt my baby.
According to police, Brooks was intoxicated at the time of the carjacking. He is expected to appear in Anderson County Court next Monday, The Millers say they hope he is put away for quiet some time.