Woman assaulted, bitten during North County carjacking

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- A carjacker assaulted a woman in a neighborhood near Buena Vista Lagoon Wednesday before stealing her vehicle and speeding away, authorities reported.

The 40-year-old woman, who is a caregiver at the Jefferson House II for seniors, was walking to her car in the area of Home Avenue and Jefferson Street in Carlsbad when the thief jumped her about 8:15 a.m., according to police.

The carjacker struck the woman repeatedly, bit her on the hand and snatched her keys, then stole her silver 2005 Kia Rio four-door sedan, Lt. Jason Jackowski said.

Several people witnessed the attack.

"I yelled at the guy and saw him for maybe the last five seconds and he bit her in the hand until she dropped her keys. He picked them up, jumped in the car and drove off down the road," said Craig Merrill, who lives at the complex where the incident took place.

Other witnesses said the victim courageously tried to fight off the carjacker.

"She was pretty brave, she gave him a good fight. He tried to leg her down, meaning he locked her legs and pushed her, but it didn't happen. She fought her way out of it," said Alice Conover.

No serious injuries were reported.

The carjacker was later arrested and the woman's car was recovered by Los Angeles police.

Officers investigating the crime found another stolen vehicle -- this one taken in Los Angeles on Tuesday -- near the site of the carjacking. It was not immediately clear if the two cases were related.