SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Hector Estrada has several cuts on his face from fighting off a suspected carjacker and he said he wouldn’t change a thing if he had a chance to rethink his actions. The 72-year-old spoke in his driveway Thursday where the crime was caught on his home surveillance camera the day before.
“He jumped in the car and then I reached in there and grabbed him,” he said. “He punched me and broke my glasses and that’s how I got all these cuts.”READ MORE: 8 People Displaced by House Fire in San Lorenzo
The teen suspect, a 14-year-old San Jose resident, was caught by police less than 24 hours after the armed carjacking, according to San Jose Police Spokesperson Gina Tepoorten.
“I said he looked like about 16 or 17, but he was younger than that,” Estrada said to a group of reporters and photographers. “I was really surprised.”
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The teen suspect is part of a staggering number of juveniles accused of committing a crime in Santa Clara County. In 2017, the county reported a 250% increase in carjacking from just the year before. It also reported that home burglaries increase 128% and assaults 59%.READ MORE: UPDATE: Estrada Fire Near Watsonville 60% Contained; All Evacuation Warnings Lifted
“Unfortunately, we have been seeing crimes like this committed by juveniles,” Tepoorten said. Estrada said his cameras caught the teen punching him, but it didn’t record the seconds beforehand when the suspect walked up to him and demanded his keys.
“I says, ‘You’re on camera,’ and I pointed up there at the camera, and he says, ‘I don’t care,'” Estrada recounted. Then he said that’s when the suspect flashed his gun.
“I says, ‘I don’t care,’ so I grabbed him out of my car,” he said. Estrada, whose son is a fire marshal and daughter works for the San Jose Police Department, would’ve likely kept fighting but couldn’t see through the blood now running down his face from his cuts.
The teen then allegedly drove off with Estrada’s car, but police said he didn’t get very far. Ten minutes later, the suspect is accused of colliding into another car on McGuinness and Story Road and running off. Tepoorten said he flashed his gun at a witness who tried to chase after the teen.
Estrada said his hope is that the teen is tried as an adult so that he can follow court proceedings, and find out what was going through his mind during the carjacking. He said if he could do it all over again, he wouldn’t change the fact that he fought back. When pressed as to why, he said he is living with lung disease.MORE NEWS: Hayward Woman Killed in Horrific Brentwood Crash
“I’m at an age where I don’t have very much,” said Estrada. “You don’t really have a hell lot of a time left so I don’t care.”