When Lorrie Crouch took her mom to the hospital in January 2018, she had a nasty shock. As she helped her aging mom into a wheelchair, a carjacker reportedly tried to make off with Crouch’s vehicle. Caught in the melee, she was subsequently knocked out. But while she lay unconscious, Crouch’s grandson ran after her assailant.
Crouch had pulled up in the parking lot of the Columbus Regional Hospital in Indianapolis. She was tending to her 88-year-old mother, who she was taking to the Emergency Room. Crouch was helping the elderly woman out of the car and into a wheelchair – and her grandson was on-hand for assistance.
The 56-year-old woman reached into the vehicle to pick up her mom’s purse and medicine. But as Crouch did so, something unexpected happened – and she immediately knew that something was wrong. When she turned around, she saw that a man she didn’t recognize had climbed into the driver’s seat.
“Out of the blue, this guy comes from the hospital, jumps in my truck, says he’s leaving,” Crouch told Indianapolis news channel RTV6 in January 2018. But the grandmother was having none of it. Thinking on her toes, Crouch dived into the vehicle.
“I said, ‘What the hell are you doing?’” Crouch told Fox59 in January 2018. The man has since reportedly been identified as 27-year-old Kenneth Wentworth, and what he was allegedly doing was carjacking Crouch’s truck. But before the grandmother realized precisely what was happening, he threw the vehicle into reverse and hit the gas.
As the truck sped backwards, it slammed into multiple stationary cars in the parking lot. But that apparently wasn’t the only thing that was hit. According to Crouch, the vehicle also collided with her mother, who was sitting in a wheelchair close by.
By now alongside her assailant in the truck, Crouch was ready for a fight after what she’d allegedly seen him do to her mother. “He slapped me, and I slapped him back,” she stated. “Then he slapped me again, and I slapped him back… I was trying to get ahold of him.” It seemed that Crouch was by no means backing down.
“I was cussing. I wasn’t very religious, I’ll admit that,” Crouch told RTV6. “That was my stuff, and that was my mother he hit. And when I seen that I just – I went right after him.” The 56-year-old was apparently in no mood to be messed with.
Wentworth then allegedly changed gears and drove the truck forward. Crouch stated that she was hitting the driver and attempting to grab hold of the steering wheel as he reversed the vehicle through the parking lot. The truck subsequently collided with a parked car, bringing it to a halt.
If you ever happen to be confronted by a thief, police advise that the best course of action is to do as they ask, in order to avoid getting hurt. Crouch, though, was having none of it.
“I was trying to pull him out,” Crouch told RTV6. “I was just shocked. Devastated. I couldn’t believe this was happening. Here I was bringing my mother to the hospital to get fixed – and that’s my stuff.” But the grandmother was reportedly still not ready to back down.
The force of the impact when the vehicle struck the parked car was enough to send Crouch tumbling out of the truck. As she fell onto the concrete parking lot, she hit her head on the ground. The next thing she knew, she was waking up in the hospital.
But, as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And when Crouch came round in the hospital, she learned what her grandson, Clayton Harris, had done next. In the aftermath of the crash, the driver had fled on foot – and Harris had set off after him.
“They said, ‘Your grandson took him down for ya,’” Crouch told RTV6. “I said, ‘He’s my hero.’” Harris was able to catch up with the alleged carjacker and bring him down. The grandson reportedly held on to the man and didn’t let go until police officers arrived on the scene.
“Somebody had to do something,” Harris told Fox59. “I ran after him.” And with a never-say-die spirit that apparently runs in the family, the 17-year-old seemingly knew just what to do next. “Take your arm and hold their head back and then just detain them as much as you can,” he explained.
The assailant had apparently picked the wrong family to mess with that night. Harris, as it happens, plays football and is a wrestler. And the alleged criminal proved to be no competition for the athlete. “He’s 17 and made me real proud,” said Crouch.
Perhaps it was seeing what the thief had reportedly done to Harris’ grandmother that caused the 17-year-old to set off in pursuit. Crouch’s injuries were severe following her fall from the moving vehicle. Not only was she knocked out when her head hit the concrete, but she also suffered several other injuries as well.
Crouch subsequently described her injuries during an interview with Fox59. “I have a broken toe, fractured foot, fractured wrist, my shoulder blade cracked,” she said. “And I have knots all over my head. I also have five stitches.” Her injuries were so extreme, in fact, that she had to be transferred by helicopter to a hospital in Indianapolis for treatment.
Crouch’s mother was also injured in the commotion. After being left with cuts on her leg, Sara Smith was treated at the hospital in which the incident took place. Although her wounds weren’t deemed serious, she nonetheless found the events traumatic.
Wentworth faced multiple charges, including battery, robbery and auto theft. The family, however, believed that he should also receive support. “I hope that he gets everything that is coming to him,” Harris told RTV6. “Justice for sure, but at the same time, I hope he gets help. No sane person does that.”