ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A woman is speaking out about a good Samaritan, who ran to help her during what investigators are calling an attempted carjacking. Russell Ullom, 53, is accused of attacking a woman and trying to steal her SUV. A jail inmate booking photograph clearly shows the "shiner" he got during the struggle.
"He was a lunatic," said victim Kirsten Telan. She said she parked her Land Rover in front of Walgreens on Tuesday night and was wrapping her husband's birthday gift with her daughter, when the stranger walked up. "He was screaming, 'I love you! I love you!' over and over again and grabbing us," she explained. "I'm in disbelief, I'm still in shock. I elbowed him pretty good, grabbed my daughter."
Police said Ullom followed them into the store and punched Telan, causing her to fall to the ground. He then ran out to her SUV and tried driving away. That's when Telan said she ran after him. "He was trying to close the door, so he could take off, and I grabbed the door for two to three minutes. I just held it open. He was pulling it closed, and I was pulling it open, hoping he wouldn't close and lock it."
Telan said she asked employees to help, but they told her they couldn't leave the store, that's when a customer stepped in. "All of the sudden, the angel comes up to us and says, 'What's going on?' and he grabbed the man in my car by his shirt and pulled him out."
Jessie Pugh, 42, said he heard the screams for help. "When she grabbed the door, that's when I came up and asked him, 'What are you doing?' and that's when he looked at me and I guess he got nervous. I backed up to make sure everything ok and that's when he took off, and I ran behind him."
Pugh said he chased the suspect out of the Walgreens parking lot, dodging traffic on Edgewater Drive. He said the alleged would-be thief finally stopped across the street in front of Edgewater High School, and shortly after that, the police showed up and arrested the man. "He stopped, and I told him, 'You can't go nowhere!'"
Telan is grateful to Pugh for being a hero. "I thank him so much, and I hope this inspires people to not turn away and help people, especially in this day and age. Don't be afraid to help if you know something's wrong."
Ullom is charged with attempted car jacking and battery.