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Holocaust survivor carjacked

April 10, 2009 3:37:53 PM PDT
A holocaust survivor found himself the target of a carjacker. But, thanks to the quick actions of some bystanders, the alleged criminal didn't make it far.

87-year-old Dave Tuck, who has a tattooed number on his arm from the Auschwitz concentration camp, had just picked up a prescription for a friend at Windsor Pharmacy when he was confronted by a stranger who demanded money... and his car.

"He said 'I need some change,' and I told him, 'I'm retired, I need money. I don't have money for you,'" said Tuck. "So then he said, 'Give me the keys.' I said, "How am I going to get home?'"

It wasn't long before the two were in a physical confrontation.

"He's so big, he knocked me down," Tuck said.

Cleaning contractors Dave and Dawn Leonard were nearby when the confrontation occured.

"I heard this scream, and I came running out and I saw this hand go up, and then the guy pushed him. I screamed at the top of my lungs 'Call 911!'" said Dawn Leonard.

That sent Melinda Proccacino into action.

"I saw this man being thrown to the ground. I pulled in to try to block the car because I saw the man getting into the car, and I was hoping to stop him," Proccacino said. "He almost hit me, made a u-turn. I made a u-turn and went after him."

Melinda, who had six kids in a minivan with her, followed the carjacked vehicle down Route 13 into a development and called 911.

Police picked up the trail, chasing the vehicle along 413, 95, off Academy to Frankford and into a cul-de-sac at Ellie Drive in Northeast Philadelphia.

That's where they arrested 25-year-old Aaron Calhoun of Levittown, who was found hiding under a picnic bench after jumping a chain-link fence.

Witnesses were amazed the 87-year-old target of the crime fought back.

"He gave him a shot, you know what I mean? He fought right back with this guy and he's a big guy, this guy who was arrested," said Dave Leonard.

Witnesses congratulated Dave Tuck for the way he resisted. But why would a man his age try to thwart a much younger, stronger carjacker?

"It's the will to live," Tuck said.

As a holocaust survivor, Tuck said trying to resist his attacker was a reflex.

"Maybe it was stupidity from me, but I was afraid he was going to take me," said Tuck.

With the drama over and his carjacker behind bars, Tuck was able to pick up his 1996 Chevy Lumina at the police impound yard Friday morning.

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