Belfast Telegraph

Medical student speaks of ordeal after being 'ripped from car' during Belfast hijacking

Daniel Napier had his shirt town off during the hijacking. Credit: BBC
Daniel Napier had his shirt town off during the hijacking. Credit: BBC

A 19-year-old medical student has spoken of his terror after being dragged out of his car in a hijacking in south Belfast.

Daniel Napier, from County Down, told the BBC he was taking a friend out for a drive on Saturday when the hijackers struck at Purdysburn Road.

He told the broadcaster that he was "the most scared he had ever felt" during the hijacking.

"They reached in and ripped me out of the car," he said.

"They pinned me up against the car. I was in a vice-like grip and I felt under so much pressure."

Mr Napier was punched in the face and said one man threatened to shoot him if he did not hand over his keys and valuables.

The two men then made off in his Renault Clio car, which was later found on fire in Beechmount Avenue in west Belfast at around 12.30pm.

Firefighters dealing with the burning car on Beechmount Avenue in Belfast. Credit: Ciaran Beattie.

Mr Napier said that just before the hijacking another motorist beeped his horn and signalled to him to do a u-turn, in an apparent attempt to warn him.

But the teenager did not realise what was about to happen.

"I flicked the indicator on and suddenly the two boys were on my car. They were running at me like bulls," he said.

"I was trying to get the lock pressed, but I couldn't get it in time."

Mr Napier tried to hold the door closed but was overpowered. He managed to get free of his attackers when they tore his T-shirt off, but he didn't flee because he was unsure where his friend was.

"The keys fell out of my hand when he punched me in the face. My nose and lips were bleeding. I was physically stunned," he said.

"I never thought of keeping my doors locked when driving.

"I thought if there was a threat, I would have time to lock my doors, but this happened like lightning."

The car set on fire in Beechmount Avenue

Mr Napier lost his car, mobile phone, passport and football kit in the incident.

Police believe a series of hijackings and assaults in Newcastle, Lisburn, Carryduff and west Belfast area on Saturday were committed by the same two men.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday night on suspicion of hijacking and common assault. He remains in police custody.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in Lisburn on 101, quoting reference number 808 1/6/19.

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