A 71-year-old victim of a carjacking in South Archer Avenue in Chicago has come forward to speak about the horrible incident.
Paul Lee told WGN9 that he was shocked by what had happened because Chinatown is usually a very safe place.
The elderly victim also said that he had never expected to become a target as this goes to show that something like this could happen to anyone at any time.
Lee was reportedly celebrating Chinese New Year at Phoenix Restaurant on Feb. 27 when the incident happened. A man approached him at around 8:50 p.m. on 2100 block of South Archer Avenue and pushed him to the ground.
The suspect then grabbed the keys of his 2019 Range Rover as Lee tries to grab onto his car. He was dragged a few feet before he fell to the street and sustained injuries to his eye and knee.
“I used to tell people let the car go, it’s only a car and don’t grab on to the car,” Lee said of the accident that happened within seconds on a well-lit street. “When it happens to you, my immediate reaction was to grab the car, thinking, ‘I could stop the guy.’ And you can’t.”
“He knew what he was doing,” he said. “He was a pro at it, I think.”
Authorities, however, said that Lee was lucky the man did not have a gun when the crime happened.
The victim’s daughter, Nikki Lee, said she was shocked when she heard about what happened to her father, a beloved member of the community and is known as “Uncle Paul,” and expressed she is grateful that he is safe.
“We are so grateful that he is safe and recovering from this incident,” she said. “We thank all our friends and family for their well wishes and speedy recovery for my dad.”
According to the police, carjacking has gone up by 75% this year citywide, and Lee said this could have an impact on tourism as well as on the community.
“It has traditionally been a very safe place and I want to keep it that way,” Lee said.
Surveillance footage from a sushi restaurant in the area showed the incident on Thursday night and was given to the police.
Feature Image via WGN9