WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Attacked and carjacked by a complete stranger in a shopping center parking lot. That's what happened to a Winston-Salem woman, in a harrowing turn of events.
"I just wanted to take some things back, and it was one of the worst days of my life," said Starla Osborne.
Winston-Salem Police say Osborne was attacked Saturday night, as she was trying to get into her car in the Burlington store parking lot on North Point Boulevard.
The attack - that left her battered, bruised and bitten - happened around 8:20 p.m.
Investigators say Osborne told responding officers that a man grabbed her as she was trying to get into her SUV. The two struggled, but the suspect was able to get away with her car.
Osborne says, it started as a gut feeling.
"I was in there shopping, and I saw this guy and felt some type of way," she said, "I was leaving. I just happened to look over my shoulder and there he sat. But before I could get into my truck, he was already forcing himself in."
The stranger jumped her, attacking her in her own SUV, but Osborne fought back.
"He got in. And I was on top of his lap, in this little area," she explained, "His sweaty body on me just...nastiness. And, I'm on top of him, pounding him in the back of the head and screaming, 'somebody help me,' blowing the horn with my knee or my foot or whatever I can get to blow the horn."
She says, the struggle went on for more than 5 minutes, with the man, pulling her, pushing her - even biting her.
"I fought him so long, I got the keys out of the ignition three times. The second time when I reached around is when he bit me on my arm," Osborne said.
Then she says, he strangled her.
"He stops what he's doing. He turns around and grabs me around my throat with both of his hands," she said.
All this time, Osborne says she cried for help, but none came, until after the attack was over.
Before she knew it, she was shoved from her Trailblazer, and he took off in it.
Police say about 30 minutes later, officers spotted her SUV driving down Silas Creek Parkway, and chased it until it crashed. Although officers found the car, the suspect driving the stolen vehicle got away.
Lt. Doss with the Police Department calls this unusual, and says this attack appears to be random. He says officers are still on the lookout for the suspect.
Despite the bruises, bites and the pain she feels all over, Osborne says, the worst part: feeling as though her independence has been taken away.
"He took a lot more from me than just my truck and my money," she said, "I just want people to know that this does happen. It does happen."
Osborne has her SUV back, but it's in bad shape. It has a busted-out rear window and a blown tire, among other problems. She's hopeful this guy is caught soon.