Father, good Samaritan chase down thief after car stolen with 11-year-old inside

A father from Tenafly has been reunited with the good Samaritan who helped rescue his son from a carjacking.

News 12 Staff

Apr 12, 2022, 3:05 AM

Updated 804 days ago


A father from Tenafly has been reunited with the good Samaritan who helped rescue his son from a carjacking.
Daniel Reiser had stopped to use an ATM at the bank. He left his car running with his 11-year-old son inside. A thief got into the car and took off, taking the child with him.
“I’m yelling for my son, my son. And he hops this curve. I fall over the curb and I land into this bush,” Reiser says.
He was clinging to the door handle, but it was locked. He says he rolled away when he fell to avoid being run over. This is when the thief got away, going past the cars at the drive-thru leaving the bank.
“There was a moment there, I felt helpless. There were about five minutes of my ordeal I thought I lost my son. I didn’t know if I’d see him again,” Reiser says.
But he says he kept chasing the thief on foot.
“And I’m yelling, ‘No, no, my son, my son,’ really loud for everyone to hear,” Reiser says.
And it just so happened there was a man driving by who was listening.
“I screamed, ‘I got it’ and I stood on my gas pedal. I’ve never accelerated a car like that,” says Michael Browne.
Browne went speeding toward the stolen car, blowing through a busy four-way stop sign. At the next intersection, they say the thief pulled over and ditched the car. He got in a getaway SUV and drove off.
The whole thing was traumatic for Browne too. He's been piecing it together for about a week.
“The chase and the traffic and like, it being totally unacceptable and so enraged that someone would dare take a kid,” Browne says.
Reiser says that on the day of the theft he needed money to pay referees. He coaches his kid’s soccer team. He says it was rainy and cold and he kept the car running so his son could stay warm. He had the key fob with him. He says he knows better now than to leave the car running.
Reiser says that Browne is a hero. The two have formed a bond. He also says that his son is an eternal optimist who is taking the situation in stride.
“But I’m monitoring him at school. I asked…the principal to see if there are any changes. He’s been doing fine – he’s doing fine,” Reiser says.
No arrests have been made in the theft. Police say car thefts in the area are up 30% this year.
Reiser says that something needs to change. He says the state needs to look at changing the bail reform laws and towns should get more security cameras.

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