A New Jersey teenager witnessed a real-life “horror movie” unfolding before her very eyes when she heard startling sounds of “knocking and scratching” coming from the back of a car. Fortunately, the scary encounter had a heroic ending.
On the morning of March 7, Kayla Rose, 17, took her dog—a bichon-poodle mix named Milkshake—for a walk around her neighborhood in Irvington, suburban New Jersey, prior to leaving for school at Irvington High.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 9, 2019
As Rose was sauntering along Lindsley Avenue in Irvington around 7:10 a.m., she heard knocking and scratching, seemingly appearing from the trunk of a black Nissan Altima parked on the street.
“I backed up because I was startled, didn’t know where it came from,” the teen told NBC New York.
And she heard it again.
The nervous Rose moved closer to the back of the car and called out, “Hello?”
A male voice replied, “Hello, is there anybody that can help me?”
Terrified, Rose darted towards the house of her neighbor Joe Bollaro to ask for help.
“I went to my neighbor across the street and they called the police,” Rose told the New York Post. “Nothing like this happens over here.”
A man is left tied up in a trunk and screams for help… a teenager walking her dog comes to the rescue. Meet the girl whose quick thinking made her a hero, tonight on #ChasingNews with @BillSpadea. pic.twitter.com/FQbCRLcOgc
— Chasing News (@ChasingNews) March 7, 2019
Next, Rose ran home to inform her mom, Marie Banks, about this startling encounter.
“She said it looked like she was in a horror movie,” said Banks.
The neighbor, Joe Bollaro, 70, attempted to get the man out of the car with a crowbar, but ended up “bending the metal.”
“I asked if he could breathe,” said Bollaro. “He said he could. I told him, ‘Hang on, the police and fire department are on the way.’”
Once firefighters arrived on the scene, they forced open the car door with a jemmy. They then folded down the rear car seat to rescue the man, who was wearing a gray hoodie and sweatpants; he had his wrists bound together with duct tape.
The firefighters cut the victim loose.
The man, whose “face was all smashed up,” said they hit him and had him tied up.
Speaking to WABC, Banks said: “He was shaken up. He was beat up. I guess he was very happy, thankful for my daughter that she found him.”
Luckily, the man, later identified as 22-year-old Damian Carrington, only sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
“He was scratched up on [sic] his forehead,” Rose said.
It transpired Carrington was kidnapped by two armed thugs a day before he was discovered by Rose.
Carrington told authorities that he was carjacked by the two men with handguns around 7:30 p.m. on March 6, at Avy Street in Hillside. They then forced him to withdraw cash from several ATMs.
— Al Jones (@aljoneswins) March 7, 2019
Apparently, Carrington had been locked in the car trunk overnight. With temperatures dropping into the single digits that night in Irvington, he could’ve died in the bitterly cold weather if it wasn’t for Rose.
Fortunately, Rose was in the right place at the right time to spot him.
“If he was in there for quite a few hours, he could’ve suffered from hypothermia,” Banks told WPIX.
Later that night, the 24-year-old suspect JaVohn Berrouet, who kidnapped Carrington and locked him in the car trunk, was eventually arrested at his home in Irvington.
According to the Union County prosecutor’s office, a ski mask and .45-caliber handgun were found in Berrouet’s residence.
Berrouet was subsequently held at Union County Jail on charges of carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and weapons offenses. The other suspect remains at large. Police are rewarding up to $10,000 for information that may lead to his arrest and indictment.
Marie Banks and her daughter Kayla Rose. 17 yr old was walking her dog on Lindsley Ave when she found a man locked in a trunk. The man tells police he was carjacked, forced at gun point to get cash at ATMs, then tied up and put in trunk. He was cold, but ok. #1010wins pic.twitter.com/NXlFjAWd4z
— Al Jones (@aljoneswins) March 7, 2019
Having helped save a man’s life, Rose has done her mother proud.
“She saved a life,” Banks said with pride.
Bollaro also lauded the teen as a “hero.”
Well done, Rose! Carrington likely escaped a tragic fate thanks to your alertness and quick action.
Watch the video: