Uber Eats driver suffered traumatic brain injury during carjacking in Westport

The carjacking occurred in front of Golden Pizza at Westfair Shopping Center on Post Road East around 7 p.m. Police said the woman stopped in to grab an order and left her car running out front.

News 12 Staff

Mar 7, 2022, 11:19 PM

Updated 807 days ago

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A 64-year-old Uber Eats driver suffered a traumatic brain injury Saturday evening after a carjacking in Westport.
Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Moran said the woman is stable but remains in the intensive care unit at Norwalk Hospital.
The carjacking occurred in front of Golden Pizza at Westfair Shopping Center on Post Road East around 7 p.m. Police said the woman stopped in to grab an order and left her car running out front.
"While she was inside, she observed somebody getting into it, and she went outside to intervene, and that's when she became injured," said Lt. Dave Wolf of the Westport Police Department.
News 12 is told the woman tried to open the car door and stop the suspect, but she was thrown to the ground and hit her head as he drove off in her white Hyundai.
Wolf said the suspect was seen getting out of a black Acura right before the theft, and both cars were later seen getting onto I-95 North. He said when an officer tried to pull over, both cars sped away leading to a chase. Police lost sight of the Hyundai but were able to follow the Acura.
"Given the severity of the crime, we did continue the pursuit into Bridgeport," Wolf said. "The suspects got off Exit 29 where they lost control of their vehicle and crashed into an occupied car, as well as several parked cars. Fortunately, there were no injuries related to the chase."
Police arrested two juveniles and 18-year-old Giovanni Abreu, of New Haven. They said the car they were in was reported stolen out of Hamden earlier in the day. All three are charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault on an elderly person, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, criminal possession of a firearm, illegal transfer of a firearm, engaging police in a pursuit, and reckless driving. Abreu went before a judge in Stamford Superior Court Monday.
"I'll note, your honor, that the defendant is young. He just turned 18 in September and already has multiple pending felonies, seemingly all related to vehicles," Moran told Judge John Blawie during Abreu's arraignment.
Blawie set Abreu's bond at $302,500 and said it could only be posted at the courthouse following a hearing.
Police said they are still looking to recover the victim's car and arrest the person who drove off with it.
On Monday, people at Westfair Center reacted to Saturday's attack.
"That's something you see in the city, like Bridgeport or New York. You don't see it in little, small towns like this," said Ismael Campos, of Fairfield. Campos was one of several people who learned about the incident from News 12.
"This is unbelievable!" echoed John Moretti, of Westport. "I've had a business in Westport in the same shopping center for 35 years – a natural foods store – and I've never ever seen or heard anything like this happening in Westport, Connecticut."
Nicole Diamond, of Westport, said it was disheartening and pointed to a recent carjacking incident outside a frozen yogurt shop in Fairfield.
"I feel like we're hearing about more and more of these things lately, so I was sad to hear about it, but I wish I could say I was surprised."
The Westport community started a fundraising effort to help the victim. It's organized by Danielle Dobin, who wrote that the victim "drives for Uber Eats in the evenings to earn supplemental income." Dobin said Westport's police chief will ensure 100% of the donations go to the victim. Checks can also be dropped at the police station along with get well cards. Dobin wrote, "Please help this woman know she is not alone as she recovers from this attack." As of Monday afternoon, donations topped $25,000.
Diamond told News 12 the effort is indicative of the town's mindset.
"Living in a town like Westport, everybody likes to come together, to stick together for each other. I'm not surprised to see there was a GoFundMe, and I'm not all surprised that everyone rallied."
A spokesperson for Uber released the following statement to News 12: "We're deeply alarmed and saddened by the details of this random act of violence. We've reached out to the driver to check in with her, and we stand ready to assist police with their investigation."


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