Cab Driver Dragged In Lowell Carjacking

lowell police cruiser

(Facebook/Lowell Police)

LOWELL (WBZ-AM) -- Cab driver Jimmy Gauthier is supposed to give people rides--but instead, police say, he got taken for one.

Lowell Police said 23-year-old Leonilda Cruz flagged down Gauthier's cab on Lawrence Street around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, and got angry when he wouldn't drive her.

Police said Cruz punched Gauthier and got in the driver's seat--then drove away, dragging Gauthier several feet.

"She got in reverse, somehow she hit the gas, and I was holding on underneath the door," Gauthier told WBZ-TV. "She dragged me about 10-15 feet until she hit the telephone pole."

Cruz then drove into the rear of a dumpster truck at Route 38 and Boylston Street while driving around 70 mph.

According to police, she tried to steal that dumpster truck before taking off on foot.

"I got out of the truck to see if she was okay, and all of a sudden, she ran towards me, tried to jump in my truck, steal my truck," the truck driver told WBZ-TV. "I ripped her out of my truck."

She was caught nearby by a responding Lowell officer--after, police say, she tried to steal his cruiser, too.

"There's something desperate going on in her life," Gauthier said.

Cruz faces charges of carjacking, speeding, operating to endanger, and more.

At her arraignment in Lowell District Court Wednesday was ordered to be placed in a psychiatric hospital for 20 days for evaluation.

A court psychologist says she doesn't fully understand the charges against her.

The psychologist told the court the woman's family describes her as someone whose mental health has been deteriorating for two years, a woman who's been having hallucinations, and whose behavior has become increasingly  erratic and violent. 

She'd held without bail, pending that evaluation.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports

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