Police: Carjacking Suspect Tried to First Steal Computers from School

Suspect stole woman's van, dragged her alongside of it during escape

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nina Cherry will have to undergo a second surgery on Wednesday, she was injured when she was dragged across the parking lot during a carjacking outside of Pantego Christian Academy.

    Police officers from multiple agencies arrested a Tarrant County man Monday night, hours after he allegedly stole a woman's car and dragged her alongside of it during his escape.

    Officers from both the Arlington and Pantego police departments arrested Benjamin Rowell, 32, and charged him in connection with the carjacking of Nina Cherry outside of the Pantego Christian Academy.

    Prior to the carjacking, Rowell was discovered trying to steal computer equipment from inside of the private school, according to Pantego police Sgt. Barry Reeves.

    In an attempt to escape, Rowell reportedly ran outside and encountered Cherry - a mother of two Pantego Academy sophomores - who was parked outside of the school in her van, Reeves said.

    Mom Carjacked, Runover at Christian School

    [DFW] Mom Runover During Carjacking at Pantego Christian School
    A woman is hospitalized after being ran over by her own van during a carjacking at Pantego Christian Academy.

    Rowell stole the van from Cherry, who was then hung up in one of her van's tires as it drove off, Reeves said.  The van then ran Cherry over as she became dislodged from the wheel well.

    According to police, Cherry's van was equipped with a tracking device which led officers to Rowell later Monday evening.  During his attempt to elude the officers who were pursuing, Rowell caused a few hit-and-run crashes with other drivers, according to Tiara Richard of the Arlington Police Department.

    Rowell is facing multiple charges from the Arlington police, including burglary of a habitation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest/detention of a vehicle, resisting arrest and multiple traffic violations, according to Richard. 

    Rowell has also been charged by Pantego police for the alleged carjacking.  Rowell's bond has been set at more than $500,000.

    The mother of two was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where she underwent surgery, according to Jay Pritcher, headmaster of the Pantego Christian Academy. Cherry will have surgery to repair a fractured pelvis on Thursday.

    Cherry is in serious, but stable condition and will need six to eight months to recover from her injuries.

    Pritcher told NBC 5 Cherry is expected to recover.