NEW ORLEANS — An elderly woman was killed after she was dragged to death by her own SUV for blocks in a carjacking in New Orleans on Monday.
The New Orleans Police Department says the carjacking happened around 1:30 p.m. outside a business on Bienville Avenue as 73-year-old Linda Frickey was putting items into her car. Witnesses say they saw another car drive up to her SUV and a man got into her car.
“I heard screaming, like ‘you're-going-to-die’ screaming,” Austin Northcott said. “Just not a normal scream.”
Witnesses say Frickey was caught in her seatbelt and was dragged as her SUV sped off on Bienville Street. The NOPD said her arm detached from her body just more than a block away on North Pierce Street, freeing her from her SUV.
“Her arm was severed from her body,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said.
'No regard for human life'
Neighbors, like Leanne and Mark Mascar, who saw the carjacking ran over to help.
“She was still breathing. She was very slowly breathing,” Leanne Mascar said.
Another witness, Todd Ecker, said he tried to call 9-1-1 for help, but he never reached anyone.
“Unfortunately, the phone rang for four minutes and 45 seconds before I hung up,” Ecker said. He added that another witness eventually got through, but Mascar said it took almost 15 minutes before paramedics arrived.
“She’s still breathing. I can feel a pulse. And the anger was like, ‘Where the hell is the ambulance?’” Mark Mascar said. “I kept hearing loads of cops show up, but no ambulance.”
When an ambulance finally showed up, paramedics pronounced the woman dead. The carjacking has left neighbors stunned.
“It was the most grotesque, surreal, horrific thing I’ve ever seen. Complete reckless abandonment. No regard for human life,” Ecker said.
“There is something really wrong when you have to walk outside your house, and that is part of your day - that some woman is getting dragged down the street,” Mascar said.
“It’s Monday at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Everyone is out getting lunch, not worried about whether or not they’re going to live or not,” Northcott said.
Police later found the woman’s car abandoned about 15 blocks away, on the corner of Dumaine and North Dupre streets in the Bayou St. John neighborhood.
On Monday night, the NOPD shared photos of four people believed to be involved in the carjacking. Anyone with information about the carjacking or suspects is asked to call Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111.
Monday’s carjacking was just the latest, most horrific in a string of crimes in Mid-City that people say are causing major issues.
“In six months, we’ve gone from some very positive things in Mid-City to fear,” said Tim Levy of the Greater Mid-City Business Association. “Citizens I talk to, they’re all buying guns.”
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