Mom fights off man trying to steal her car with 7-year-old daughter inside, feds say

A woman stopped a man from stealing her BMW and driving off with her 7-year-old daughter inside in Utah, according to federal prosecutors who said he’s now facing a federal charge.

While driving in Salt Lake City on Aug. 30, the woman pulled over after suspecting an issue with one of her tires, according to prosecutors.

As she checked the tire’s pressure, a stranger suddenly appeared, jumped in the driver’s seat and shut the door, prosecutors said.

The woman reached inside the driver’s side window and begged the man, Zachery Cover, 32, not to take the car because her daughter was in the back seat, according to prosecutors.

When Cover, of Salt Lake City, told her to take her child and “get out,” the woman yanked him out of the car and onto the ground, where they struggled, prosecutors said.

According to a felony complaint, the woman told investigators Cover hit her several times before she broke away and got into the car to drive away. However, the gear got stuck in neutral and the BMW wouldn’t go forward, the complaint says.

That’s when Cover jumped on top of the woman and hit her again before pointing what appeared to be a black handgun at her and her daughter, according to the complaint and prosecutors.

The woman, fearing Cover was about to pull the trigger, was able to pull him to the ground a second time and knocked away the gun, which broke into pieces once it hit the ground, according to the complaint and prosecutors who said the weapon was a facsimile .22 caliber Walther style BB gun.

After fighting him off again, the woman got in her car, drove her and her daughter to safety and called 911, the complaint says.

Cover was indicted on a carjacking charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah announced in a Sept. 8 news release.

McClatchy News contacted a federal public defender representing him and didn’t receive an immediate response.

He was arrested soon after the woman called 911 about the attempted car theft, according to the complaint.

Cover is due back in court for a two-day trial that will begin Nov. 13, according to the release.

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