Woman acted on 'instinct' during carjacking

CENTENNIAL - Zune Wharton tried to fight back when a crazed and desperate felon stole her car Wednesday.

She says was driving her silver sedan to work on Peoria Street when she noticed a gold van behind her. She thought the driver was having mechanical problems when he hit her, but this was no ordinary accident.

"He said you have to get out now, Wharton remembers. "Of course, I got confused, and I am thinking 'what's going on?'"

The felon, identified by police as 28-year-old Ryan Stone, yanked her out of the car, onto the shoulder of the road.

"When he pulled me out, I realized, you know, he's jumping in my car he's going to take off," Wharton said. "Instinctually - I don't why - I tried to grab back on." In retrospect, Wharton says it was a bad idea to try to stop the carjacker, and she is lucky she was not injured.

Wharton's car was the third one stolen in Wednesday's police chase through several counties. Police say it began when Stone stole a red SUV with a child inside from a Longmont convenience store parking lot.

The carjacker T-boned another car while driving Wharton's sedan. Joshua Burmaster's blue SUV was sideswiped during that crash.

"At that point I didn't know he was in a high speed chase. I just figured he was a hit-and-run guy," Burmaster said. "I keep running the whole scenario in my head as how different it could have been, how much worse it could have been."

After the crash, Stone ran from the scene, but police caught him and arrested him.

"Put him away forever," Wharton said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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