It happened around 2:30 p.m. last Sunday.
When a Tesla owner was alerted by his car’s safety app that the window had randomly opened, he headed over to his car — parked on 79th between York Ave and FDR Drive — to find a thief still inside.
The trunk was open and everything in it had been removed. Everything from the center console had been swiped too.
He started to yell at the suspect, at which point the carjacker started choking him — to the point that marks were left, an NYPD spokesperson told East Side Feed.
The Tesla owner was then thrown to the ground, sustaining lacerations and bruising on his arm, knee and wrist.
Witnesses were on the scene when Officer Kathleen Danaher from the 19th Precinct came in to make the rescue, arresting the robber — Donald David, 40.
David is being charged with robbery in the second degree. When asked if David was still in police custody, the NYPD responded, “I don’t have those details.”
In a July 20 tweet, the 19th Precinct described Danaher’s response as “lightning fast.” One commenter praised a job well done, writing, “Exemplary work Officers! Thank you for your diligent service.” Another wrote, “Great work officers. Thanks for keeping us safe.” Another chimed in, “Released within an hour.”
In a June 12 story from the New York Daily News, the NYPD reported a 51% surge in stolen cars this year. “Police say about 5,420 vehicles have been reported stolen — and roughly 2,200 of them were cases where motorists left their vehicles with the engine running, or unlocked, often with the keys or key fobs inside.” In the same story, NYPD Deputy Inspector Robert Lapolla, head of the NYPD Auto Crime Unit, stated “The criminals are just more brazen” and more apt to take vehicles when the opportunity arises.