Saturday, June 21, 2008

Carjacking turns into elaborate lie


When Alexis Adler saw a group of people standing around a wrecked Ford pickup near Rocky Nook County Park Thursday, she stopped to see if anyone needed help.
She found a distraught woman with blood pouring from her nose. The woman’s two daughters, one not more than a few months old, the other about three, were noticeably upset.
“She was covered in blood,” Adler recalled during a phone interview yesterday. “She was crying hysterically.”
The woman told Adler a man attempted to steal her truck, but when he saw the two children in the back seat, fled down Mission Canyon Road on foot.
Adler dialed 911. She tried to calm the woman down and told her not to worry because the police would find the carjacker.
She left when paramedics arrived and placed the woman in a neck brace. Everything appeared to be under control, she said.
But as local law enforcement agencies began investigating, they discovered a far different tale.
A couple of blocks away Santa Barbara Police officers located an injured, intoxicated man.
Officer Mike McGrew said the man turned out to be the woman’s husband, and the woman was lying about the carjacking.
“The cops got there and [discovered] the wife was making up the story to give the guy some time to flee,” McGrew said, adding that the man was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving.
McGrew didn’t have the identities of the woman or the man because the accident occurred within the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol. Attempts to reach the CHP for additional information wasn’t successful yesterday.
McGrew said it appeared the truck collided with a number of trees inside the boundaries of Rocky Nook Park. He said the string of crashes appeared to be the result of a domestic dispute.
Adler, who was convinced the woman was the victim of a crime, said she was surprised to hear of the story’s bizarre twist.
“I’m completely blown away that it was all a lie,” she said. “It’s horrible to think it was actually her husband that was responsible for all that.”
Thinking back on the scene, however, Adler said the woman’s lack of response while being consoled makes more sense now.
“It wasn’t so much that she was shocked,” Adler said. “The things I was saying didn’t matter because she had a whole different perspective on the situation than I did.”

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