NEW ORLEANS -- "A lot of times these things happen so quickly that you don't even have time to react," Jay Casteel said.
Casteel formerly worked for the US Department of State as a diplomatic security officer. He was trained to protect high ranking officials as they traveled.
"An assassination attempt on an ambassador or diplomat, there would be a second car that would block you in," he remembered, going over his training.
He's now working in the IT field, but he says his training helped him avoid a potential carjacking two weeks ago near First and Liberty.
"I was traveling down this street here, when all of a sudden the vehicle pulled forward and blocked the intersection here."
Casteel recognized he was being set up at what he calls a "choke point." He was able to get away, and he created a video online to share his advice with others. As he explains it, a car pulls up and essentially prevents a driver from passing through, often so that criminals can rob the driver or take their car.
"I kind of kept my space and whenever the passenger exited the car I kind of put my car in reverse because it seemed like a really weird situation," Casteel said.
He was able to back out down a block, and get away, but Casteel says there's almost nothing you can do once you're in the middle of a car-jacking situation.
"If you keep yourself away from the situation, you don't have to deal with those kinds of problems," he said.
In other words, if you remain alert and spot something suspicious, then it's possible to avoid getting cornered.
Casteel emphasizes that thieves often look for distracted drivers. That's why he believes many carjackings happen in busy areas like a mall or an intersection.
But even with all of Casteel's experience, getting away this time still felt a little too close for comfort.