Carjack victim disables taillights to attract police
May 27, 1997
NEW YORK (CNN) -- After being carjacked and stuffed into the trunk of her car at gunpoint, Bessie Cassaro kept her wits about her -- and it led to her rescue.
The 64-year-old woman, abducted in Manhattan on Monday, pulled out the wires to the taillights of her 1992 Nissan. A police officer in suburban Larchmont noticed that the car's lights weren't working and gave chase when the driver refused to pull over.
The car later crashed into a pole, and the two alleged carjackers ran. When police approached the car, they heard Cassaro thumping on the lid from the inside.
Cassaro says she used relaxation techniques to calm down. Then, she went to work on the wires. She came through her ordeal unhurt.
"Aren't I a doll?" she said. "I did a lot of good things, really used my head."
The alleged carjackers, Paul Mikaya, 29, and Mickie Smith, 18, were arrested when police found them hiding under vehicles at a Nissan dealership. They have been charged with kidnapping and possession of stolen property.
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