A young boy saved himself and his sister from what could have been a kidnapping when a man got into an unattended car they were in at a medical centre in Ohio.
Surveillance footage of the incident posted on Facebook by the Middletown Division of Police on Saturday (April 27) showed the two children rolling out of the back seat as the car pulled away, while their grandmother, Ms Nita Coburn, gave chase on the driver's side.
The incident took place last Thursday afternoon.
The police said that they received a call at 4.18pm that a car with children inside had been stolen at Atrium Medical Centre and an elderly woman was injured.
Ms Coburn, 69, had stopped at the medical centre's emergency room entrance and got out of the car to help her sick daughter into a wheelchair, leaving the boy Chance, eight, and his sister Skyler, 10, in the vehicle, reported WCPO Cincinnati, an affiliate of American television network ABC.
She thought she had locked her car, but a safety feature had prevented her from locking the doors with the keys still inside.
The police said in a separate Facebook post that about 10 seconds after Ms Coburn alighted , a 24-year-old man named Dalvir Singh jumped into the driver's seat and took off with the children in the back seat.
"The little boy opened the door to escape and the little girl started to jump out also, but the man grabbed the hoodie of the little girl, not allowing her to leave," said the police.
As the girl tried to get away from Singh, her brother grabbed hold of her and pulled her away. Both of them then tumbled out of the moving vehicle from the right passenger door.
Unaware that her grandchildren were safe, Ms Coburn gave chase on the driver's side, which is on the left in the United States, and opened the driver's door to regain control of the vehicle.
But Singh slammed the door shut and locked it, said the police.
Ms Coburn hung on to the car in a panic, as she thought the children were still inside, and was dragged for a while until the speed of the car forced her to let go.
She told WCPO Cincinnati that she did not like to think about how the incident would have ended if not for Chance's quick thinking: "Every time I think about it, I want to cry. It's the most morbid feeling in the world."
The police said that two officers observed the stolen vehicle fleeing the scene on University Boulevard near Nelbar Street and managed to stop it.
Singh, who is from India and is a heroin addict, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of kidnapping, felonious assault for dragging Ms Coburn, and grand theft, added the police.
Chief Rodney Muterspaw from the Middletown Division of Police said: "This little guy is a hero. No question. He pulled his sister out of the car with no concern for his own safety."
The police division would be recognising the boy's quick action to not only get out of the vehicle, but also make sure that his sister got out with him.