Greece man run over by stolen car
A man from Greece says he was run over by a stolen car after the driver and his friends tried to steal his car.
Brad Hillman was in a parking lot near the Neighborhood of the Arts in Rochester Thursday afternoon. He says he was sitting in his car checking his phone when a man walked up and tried to shake his hand. In a matter of seconds, Hillman says he was punched, robbed and run over by a car. And part of it was recorded on cell phone video.
The video shows one of the stolen cars is at the end of the parking lot. Two other people are standing alongside another car. Then, the first car launches forward.
“And before I know it the vehicle was accelerating, flying out of the parking space, hit me,” Hillman said from his apartment in Greece. “The witnesses said I flew about 10 feet.”
The impact put Hillman in a neck brace with a black eye, cut lip, road rash, banged up knees and ankles. He hit the ground so hard, the asphalt stained his shorts.
Hillman thinks he was targeted because he drives a Hyundai.
The Rochester Police Department called with information on the car that hit him.
Brean: “So the police are saying the car that ran over you was stolen.”
Brad Hillman: “Correct.”
Hillman: “I’m actually fearful to drive my vehicle now. It’s put a mental toll on me.”
Brean: “When you say fearful to drive your vehicle, what do you mean?”
Hillman: “I tried to pop into work today to tell them in person what happened and anytime I had to slow down my vehicle I just had panic attacks that somebody could run up, open my car and come after me.”
Since the start of the year, I’ve reported on the crisis of stolen cars. Early on, video showed the thefts used to happen quietly after dark. Then, thieves started using them to break into businesses. We called those “smash and grabs.”
Now, many stolen cars are left running in the middle of neighborhood streets and people are getting hurt.
On Wednesday, a man went to the hospital after police say his car was hit a stolen car that ended up on its roof.
Rochester averages more than 80 stolen cars a week.
“It’s obviously a very high priority right now, it’s everywhere,” Hillman said. “And it’s just scary now because you just don’t know when and where I could happen to you and I don’t know how to recommend how you would stay on guard and prevent anything like this.”
Hillman’s car didn’t get stolen because he didn’t give up his keys. But the thieves took his wallet and between the cash and charges to the debit card in the last 24 hours, he says he’s lost almost $900.