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SAN DIEGO – An attempted carjacking was foiled after a group of men in City Heights jumped the suspected car thief – while getting the incident on video.

A woman and her child were sitting in a van in front of Appletree Market on University Avenue Sunday, when 21-year-old Ismael Hernandez allegedly got into the driver seat and drove off before hitting a pole, a witness told Fox5.

The video shows men dragging the suspect out of the van and forcing him to the ground by the neck. Other men punched and kicked him, while another stomped on his hand. They kept him on the ground until police arrived.

suspected carjacker
Man suspected of carjacking in City Heights.

Aaron Leaf was inside a nearby liquor store when he heard the commotion in the parking lot. He ran out, grabbed his phone and began recording.

“I think it’s great the community would stand up against [Hernandez]. They definitely didn’t use too much force. They could have continued to beat him, but they decided to hold him down so the cops could come,” Leaf said. “Police aren’t always around to catch people. It’s great the community would jump in.”

Leaf lives behind the liquor store and said he feels safe knowing the community is looking out for one another.

“I even had to thank the guy that took [Hernandez] down. It’s a big deal to me. I think it was really courageous of them,” Leaf said.

Hernandez was booked into San Diego Central Jail on charges of attempted carjacking, attempted kidnapping and attempted auto theft.

The mother and child were checked out by paramedics, but were not seriously hurt.