East Texan Gains National Attention For Quick Thinking During Carjacking - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texan Gains National Attention For Quick Thinking During Carjacking

An East Texas grandma is gaining national celebrity for her quick thinking.   KLTV 7 first talked to 75 year old Mary Smyth on Tuesday. Mary was carjacked at a Tyler Brookshires, and fought back by spraying the suspected carjacker with gasoline. Police used the OnStar in Mary's SUV to track it down and arrest the suspect.  We sat down with Mary Smyth, who told us how her life has changed in the last 48 hours.  For 75 year old Mary Smyth, this ringing phone has become a familiar sound.

"Hi, I am looking for Ms. Smyth.  This is Andrea with Good Morning America."

"Hi, Ms. Smyth this is Patrica with Fox News."

"I did an interview this morning with a talk show from Iowa.  I will do another one tomorrow morning."

All wanting to know more about how she fought a would-be carjacker with gasoline.

"Its been interesting.  I don't know what I did that made me so spectacular except that he made me so mad.  16 phone calls on the answering machine and we were gone an hour," says Mary.

Along with the interview requests, Mary has been inundated with calls congratulating her for her quick-thinking and bravery.

"I am just calling to check on wonder woman."

"I'm calling to see if you would go with me to fill up my car?"

"It had nothing to do with courage it had to do with fury. I was so mad.  I didn't think about consequences. Bill (Mary's husband) said I wish you would have thought about the inside of the car," says Mary.

"I wondered if this was the residents of Carol Keeton Strayhorn"

"Yes, Carol Strayhorn has nothing me," says Mary.

Mary says she doesn't consider this fame, she hopes she will encourage others.

"He thought it was an opportune time but he picked the wrong snow white headed woman," says Mary.

So don't mess with this tough grandma.  

Now, the suspected carjacker, John Clay Stricker, Jr. of Gladewater, is in the Smith County jail.  He is charged with aggravated robbery.  Another note, during our interview, Mary Smyth was contacted again by Good Morning America. She is supposed to be on that show sometime next week.  

Karolyn  Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com


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