(WPLG/CNN) — A Florida woman is speaking out about a dangerous encounter she had with a purse snatcher at a gas station. Determined to get her purse back, she leaped on to the roof of the thief’s car to get him to stop.
The surveillance video shows him stealing Janelle Della-Libera’s purse from her car. Once she realized she was being ripped off in broad daylight on a Saturday afternoon while pumping gas, she says her instincts took over.
“I ran around to his side of the car and got on the car in the attempt hoping that he wouldn’t drive off,” she said. “I reached into the driver side. I had my hand on my handbag and at that point he drove off, so I fell off of the vehicle. When I fell on the floor, my legs were out and his driver side tire drove over my foot.”
The dangerous ordeal left Della-Libera with a severely sprained ankle and lots of cuts and bruises. Doctors were amazed her leg wasn’t shattered. Now on crutches, she will be out of work for a few weeks, but she will heal.
Meanwhile, that up-close encounter with the lead-footed thief in a silver Cadillac is something she will never forget.
“He just kept cursing and calling me names in an attempt to scare me and get me off, but I think I literally scared him to death, which is what caused him to drive off.”
After the fact, Della-Libera realizes she should not have fought back, and that it really wasn’t worth it.
“He could have killed me. What if he had a gun? What if he would have been more vicious? What if my daughter was in the car? I mean, the scenario could have played out so much worse,” she said.
It’s unclear if the purse snatcher remains on the run.