Home | Editor's Choice | “I Just Went for It”: Brave 12-Year-Old Girl Fights off Carjacker, Saves Younger Sister

“I Just Went for It”: Brave 12-Year-Old Girl Fights off Carjacker, Saves Younger Sister

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A courageous 12-year-old girl saved herself and her younger sister from a carjacking attempt last weekend in Virginia.

Last Saturday, Maddie Weiler was on her way to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg with her mother Brandie and younger sister Mollie when the trio witnessed a car accident.

“We saw the car crash happen right before us, two cars in front of us,” Maddie told News 3’s Merris Badcock.

Brandie pulled over to help, but while she was on the phone with 911, the man who caused the accident – later identified as Paul Salsman – approached her van with her two daughters inside.

“I could see him going towards the van, and I’m screaming,” said Weiler.

Maddie and police say Salsman approached the van, stuck his hand inside the car, unlocked the door, and climbed in.

“He was saying all these things like, ‘Let’s go’ and ‘I need to get to this place’,” Maddie said.

He tried to drive off with the two girls in the van, but Maddie wasn’t having it.

“I just went for it,” she said. “Nothing passed my mind except, ‘He is a psycho and he needs to get out of the car’.”

Not only did Maddie start punching the man and yelling for help, she took an extra step to stop him that is truly impressive:


“I put the car in drive because that is a safety feature on the van, and held it there,” said Maddie. With the transmission in drive, Maddie knew there was no way Salsman would be able to start the car.

Maddie’s younger sister Mollie, who is 7, seems to be pretty impressed with her big sis as well.

“I thought he was going to take us. It was amazing because she has never done that, ” Mollie said.

The girls’ parents told News 3 they have taught their children what to do should an incident like this occur. Their dad, Steven Weiler, said, “She has always been told if anyone tries to take you, kick, scream, bite, hit, gouge out their eyes, whatever you have to do.”

But Maddie’s decision to put the car in drive to keep the engine from starting even surprised her father.

“This could have been an Amber Alert had it not been for her thinking,” he said.

Salsman has been charged with three counts of felony carjacking, felony hit and run, and driving under the influence of drugs.

Maddie, who has a fractured growth plate in her wrist, has no regrets.

She offered a bit of advice to anyone who finds themselves in her situation: “Just fight them.”

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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.

Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

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