What to Know
- James Dillon, 59, is in the hospital with broken bones and brain bleeding after he jumped on the hood of his SUV as it was being stolen
- The suspects drove two miles away from Dillon's Belleville home before he fell off the vehicle, according to police
- A 17-year-old and 18-year-old suspects have been arrested and the vehicle was later found in Newark
A New Jersey father was seriously injured after he attempted to stop two teens from stealing his SUV — by jumping and clinging on the hood of his car for nearly two miles.
James Dillon, 59, was alerted by his wife who woke up around 7 a.m. Tuesday to the attempted robbery, according to police. The couple discovered two people locked inside their silver Lincoln SUV at their Belleville home, attempting to start the vehicle.
In an effort to stop the suspects from driving off, Dillon's wife put a garbage can behind the car, but it was to no avail. The 17-year-old and 18-year-old suspects found the keyless ingnition's start button and accelerated off. That's when Dillon hopped on the hood.
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He hung on for roughly two miles before falling off, police said.
"I understand that as a homeowner, you work hard for the things you have. I guess emotions were involved and it's not recommended. I wouldn't recommend jumping on a moving vehicle," a Belleville police sergeant said at a news conference.
Dillon's daughter, Angela, said her dad is that kind of guy who would do such a thing. She says her dad is currently surrounded by doctors in the hospital, suffering from broken ribs, broken collarbone and bleeding in his brain.
"He has always been very protective. The fact that he went to the extent of going on the hood of the car. That's my dad," she said.
Police said the suspects got into the Essex County home through an opened back door. They were both later arrested and the SUV was discovered not too far way in Newark.
It wasn't immediately clear what charges, if any, have been filed.