ROSWELL, N.M. — A kind gesture by a good Samaritan went terribly wrong earlier this week in New Mexico.
A 62-year-old woman, who bought a man a meal and gave him a ride, was struck by her own vehicle when that man stole her car, authorities said.
Alyson Lyons, of Roswell, was recovering in a hospital in El Paso, Texas, after her injuries, KRQE reported. Lyons suffered severe road rash, injuries to her head and legs, and a fractured wrist, the television station reported.
Mario Caballero, 22, of Las Lunas, was arrested Tuesday in Vaughn after allegedly leading state police on a pursuit that at times reached speeds of between 116 and 120 mph, the Roswell Daily Record reported. He faces one count each of possession of stolen vehicles or motor vehicles and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, the newspaper reported.
According to family members, Lyons met Caballero at an IHOP in Roswell on Tuesday afternoon, KRQE reported. When Caballero was unable to pay the bill for his meal, Lyons covered the amount.
“If she can help you she’d give anything to a stranger, church member, family,” Nneka Truex, Lyons’ grandniece, told the television station. “She’s the sweetest old lady ever.”
When Caballero needed a ride, Lyons was more than happy to oblige, giving him a lift in her Toyota Corolla, Truex said.
“He asked for a ride because he was trying to get to his family up at the truck stop here in Roswell because they were waiting for him to get to Albuquerque,” Truex told KRQE.
En route to the truck stop, Caballero asked Lyons to pull over. When she did, Caballero allegedly pulled a knife on the woman and tried to force her out of the Corolla, the television station reported.
“She fell face-first onto the pavement,” Truex told KRQE. “The door caught onto her and he drug (sic) her to get away from the people trying to help her. Once they were able to maneuver the door off of her, he put it in drive and drove off and ran over her legs on the way to leave there.”
Troopers from the New Mexico State Police conducted a search to find the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop north of Roswell, the Daily Record reported. Caballero refused to pull over and led troopers on a chase, the Daily Record reported.
Troopers used tire deflation devices to slow down the vehicle, and Caballero was taken into custody after exiting the vehicle, the newspaper reported. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment and was booked into the Guadalupe Detention Center after he was released.
Lyons remains hospitalized in El Paso, KRQE reported.
“We’re really concerned that when she comes home she’s not going to be at, gonna be a little bit more fearful on leaving (home),” Truex told the television station.
Nneka set up a GoFundMe page to cover Lyons’ medical expenses.