Updated: Good Samaritan Thwarts Alleged Carjacking Attempt in Methuen; Victim is Safe

(Courtesy of the Methuen Police Department.)

This story has been updated to identify Jay Sarcione as the man who thwarted the crime.

A Good Samaritan thwarted a reported Methuen carjacking Friday night after observing a woman under attack in a grocery store parking lot and chasing away the alleged culprit.

Methuen Police shortly thereafter caught up with 53-year-old Rafael Rosario, of Lawrence, charging him with strangulation, attempted kidnapping, attempted carjacking and assault and battery, according to Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon.

The incident unfolded just before 8 p.m. when Rosario allegedly forced his way into a parked car near Market Basket, 186 Haverhill St. The unidentified woman said she was in her car with the door closed when the man forced his way in, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her further into the car.

According to Chief Solomon’s statement, “Fearing for her life, the victim started screaming for help and beeping the car horn to get someone’s attention.” He added, a man, later identified as Jay Sarcione, pulled his pickup truck into the parking space across from the victim and rushed over to help. Rosario then reportedly ran across the parking lot toward Hobson Street. The rescuer asked the woman to call 911 and briefly chased Rosario.

Methuen police officers searched the area and found Rosario lying in the snow along a fence in the back corner of a property. He was arrested without incident.

The woman declined treatment from emergency medical technicians from the Methuen Fire Department.

While thanking the rescuer, Solomon warned that “chasing after a suspect is something that can be extremely dangerous and we ask all residents that find themselves in an emergency to call 911 and let our officers take over from there.”

Rosario is expected to be arraigned Monday in Lawrence District Court.

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