MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — A woman with a heart problem and limited mobility became an unlikely hero last weekend when she saved an elderly woman from a carjacking.
Even with a debilitating heart disease that makes it hard for her to walk — let alone run — Maria Metts sprang into action in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Murrieta Hot Springs Road.
She used pepper spray to catch carjackers targeting a 70-year-old woman, emptying an entire canister of pepper spray into a male assailant’s face and upper body.
“I sprayed him twice and he ducked down and I ducked down with him,” Metts said, remembering, “He just kept trying to close the door on me, and I kept going, ‘Oh no you don’t.’ And I fought with him.”
“I don’t even know how I ran when I have deteriorative disc disease,” she said.
Metts and her adult daughter, Rachel Buckman, were shopping and getting ready to buy gas at the time.
They were in the parking lot when they heard a woman calling for help. Two thieves were trying to take her purse and her car. Moments later, Metts was to the rescue.
“I just saw my mom holding the door and spraying — and I was like, ‘Mom, stop! Stop!’ I just wanted my mom to get away,” Buckman recalled.
Police say the two suspects, identified as 40-year-old Justin Girard and Brittany Richardson, managed to drive off but were caught a short time later.
“I was just like, ‘Wow! Who are you? You’ve put on a Superman costume and became so powerful,'” Buckman said.
The victim did not want to be interviewed on camera. She told CBS2/KCAL9 by phone she’s very grateful for Metts and her bravery.
During the struggle, Metts did lose a ring given to her by her mother before she passed away. She’s hoping someone sees it and returns it.