WASHINGTON — A man who drives for Lyft as a second job to help support his family in Pakistan became one of nearly 300 victims of carjackings in the District this year, but it wasn't the first time he had experienced the violence. Muhammad Ibrahim said he was scared at first when two people began pushing their way into his car, but quickly found the courage to fight back.
The Lyft driver was parked by the corner of First Street and Elmira Street in Southeast when two individuals were captured on his dashcam video trying to carjack him, according to police.
The incident happened just before 5 p.m. on July 23, but investigators just released video last week to help catch the culprits.
"It was scary," Ibrahim said. "These guys don't care and they can kill you for anything."
Ibrahim said he had just completed a ride when he watched the two seemingly young people approach his car. One of them is captured opening the driver's door, but Ibrahim pushed him back. Meanwhile, the second perpetrator entered through the passenger door and forced Ibrahim to begin pushing him out simultaneously. There was another round of back-and-forth, which lasted for about 15 seconds. Police said one of them was armed with a knife.
The car could be seen moving forward since the car was in drive.
"I was pushing them out," Ibrahim said. "When I pushed him the second time, he took it out and was opening it up, a folded knife. Luckily, when he was opening it up, I just drove away."
Police have not been able to make an arrest as of Tuesday.
Ibrahim said he installed dash cameras a few years ago after he was carjacked at gunpoint outside a grocery store in Virginia.
His car automatically unlocks its doors when parked.
"When you're on the side parked, make sure you lock up your doors," he stressed.
There have been 294 carjacking offenses in D.C. this year as of Aug. 1. Compared to 2021, carjackings are up by 37% across the District.
In February, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced a joint partnership to tackle the rise in carjackings. Their respective police departments started working together to combat carjackings that often-crossed jurisdictional lines. The partnership was developed after the Metropolitan Police Department formed a taskforce for carjackings in January 2021 and expanded on it a year later.
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