South Carolina woman fights off carjacker, man arrested

SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) – Horry County police arrested a man they said broke into a woman’s house and then tried to steal her vehicle before being attacked by the victim.

According to a police report, the incident happened on February 29 on Manor Circle in Socastee when the victim returned to her home after dropping her child off at school around 7:40 a.m.

The victim told police she saw a man running out the back door of her home. The man then jumped into the front seat of her truck and tried to leave.

The 5-foot-4, 140-pound woman then ran and jumped into the truck and “violently attacked” the suspect by punching him in the face, the report said.

As she punched the suspect, he lost control on the truck and crashed into a ditch, according the report. Both she and suspect fell out of the truck into the muddy ditch, the report said.

The suspect took off running from the scene.

Police said they found a black duffle bag inside the truck with a coin jar full of money from woman’s daughter’s room.

Police were able to get a good description of the suspect from nearby surveillance cameras.

The suspect, Ronald Eugene Helsel, 51, of Myrtle Beach was arrested March 5 and charged with burglary, taking a motor vehicle while in operation by another person and kidnapping. He is being held at the J Reuben Long Detention Center under a $300,000 bond.

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