Man arrested after carjacking in the South End

Posted: 01/16/14 at 4:55 pm EST      Last Updated: 01/17/14 at 6:44 am EST

BOSTON (WHDH) -- Boston Police have 36-year-old Joel Cartogena in custody after a random carjacking Thursday afternoon in Boston’s South End neighborhood.

Police say the victim, a 29-year-old medical student from Florida, was getting into her car on Waltham Street around 4 p.m. when the Cartogena pushed her into the vehicle and got behind the wheel.

Police say Cartogena claimed he had a weapon at the time. Cartogena drove the victim around for a few blocks before crashing into a parked van on West Dedham Street. He then jumped from the vehicle and attempted to flee before being arrested by a police officer working detail nearby. The victim ran to a nearby restaurant for help.

“The guy pushed her into the passenger seat and had her down, and when he crashed in to the back of the van the airbags went off,” said restaurant owner Nivia Pina.

People who saw the suspect run from the scene went after him and got him to stop at a nearby park. Others alerted a nearby detail officer. Police say their actions helped get the suspect behind bars.

“This is a classic example of ‘see something, say something,’” Boston Police Supt. Randall Halstead said.

The suspect is facing charges of kidnapping, carjacking, assault and battery with injury. He's due to go before a judge.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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