Gloria Laviolette, 67, was attacked in her car at a stop sign in Chilliwack on Thursday morning. She wants to warn others to take safety precautions, to prevent becoming a victim. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Gloria Laviolette, 67, was attacked in her car at a stop sign in Chilliwack on Thursday morning. She wants to warn others to take safety precautions, to prevent becoming a victim. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Chilliwack women attacked inside car at stop sign

Driver warning others to remember to lock doors, even in middle of the day

Gloria Laviolette, 67, is warning Chilliwack drivers to lock their car doors.

And not just when parking the car, but while driving, too.

Laviolette was shocked on Thursday morning when a woman, who may have been high on drugs, jumped into the backseat of her car while she was sitting at a stop sign.

“It was terrifying,” she said, still visibly shaken hours after the incident. “You can’t even imagine.”

Laviolette said she was stopped and waiting to turn left onto Yale Road in the downtown area when she saw a woman running toward her car. As she reached to lock the car doors from the inside, the woman grabbed the handle of the back door behind her. Laviolette just happened to have a woman who she cares for in the passenger seat, and a vacuum that was just picked up for repair in the backseat.

The intruder quickly became and assailant, grabbing the vacuum’s long chrome bar and started swining it around inside the car. She did this with enough force to mark up the interior of the door, and remove some of the tinting from the window.

“She jumped right into my car, banging on my windows,” she says, describing the woman as acting wild, even with white foam coming out of her mouth. “She was yelling ‘this isn’t your car!’ I thought she was going to break the window.”

Laviolette jumped out of the car, and motioned for passersby to help yelling “Help! Help!” A few other drivers stopped and looked, but it was a woman walking her small dog who stopped to help Laviolette get rid of the woman and call police for help.

“I was terrified,” she says.

While Laviolette says the RCMP eventually caught up with the woman, as another witness called police and followed the woman to update them on her location. Laviolette was told over the phone to stay in the area and wait for police, but after an hour of waiting she eventually left. She had to get her passenger home, and it seemed nobody was coming.

She drove herself to the RCMP detachment later in the day, to follow up and see what to do next. While she said she has never really been scared before in Chilliwack, this incident served as a reminder for her to always be aware, and drive with her doors locked.

“I think people just need a warning,” she said.

When asked about the incident, Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said the suspect was arrested by an officer after the incident. He added that police were not ignoring the victim but the arresting officer wasn’t able to return as he was dealing with the suspect.

No charges have yet been approved.

– with a file from Paul Henderson