Detroit man charged with stealing 95-year-old woman’s car while she was still inside, assaulting her

James Smith facing 5 charges

James Douglas Smith (Wayne County Prosecutor's Office)

DETROIT – A Detroit man has been charged with stealing a 95-year-old woman’s car while she was in the passenger seat and later assaulting her while they were inside.

The incident happened around 1:55 p.m. Sept. 19 in the area of Woodward Avenue and Merton Street in Detroit.

Police said a 95-year-old woman was sitting in the passenger seat of her car when James Douglas Smith, 24, of Detroit, opened the driver’s door and got in.

Smith drove off while the woman was still in the passenger seat, according to authorities.

He is also accused of physically assaulting the woman.

Smith eventually pulled over on the side of the road in the area of State Fair Avenue and Bauman Street in Detroit. Officials said he started to get out of the car, and the woman exited, as well. Smith quickly got back inside and drove away, police said.

He was arrested Sept. 26 and charged with carjacking, unarmed robbery, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, receiving and concealing a motor vehicle, and unlawfully driving away of an automobile.

“This defendant committed these alleged crimes on the victim who is five years from her 100th birthday,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “All I can do is shake my head and make sure that justice is served.”

Smith was arraigned Thursday (Sept. 29) in 36th District Court and originally given a $100,000 personal bond. His bond was increased to $500,000 on Friday during an emergency motion. He must wear a GPS tether, if released.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 6), and a preliminary examination is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Oct. 13.


About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.