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Don’t mess with Texas; and definitely don't mess with a minivan-driving Texas mama.
Jessica Liesmann made national news this week after she jumped out of her Nissan Quest and confronted the man who had just hit her car at an intersection in Dallas, outraged that he could have hurt her 13-year-old son. She had no idea the man was a carjacking suspect on the run.
Dubbed “Mama Bear” by Dallas police, Liesmann so impressed a local radio station that it arranged for her to receive a brand new minivan.
“I was just completely shocked at what happened. I cannot tell you how grateful I am. I really am. And every time I think about it, it makes me want to cry,” Liesmann, 29, told NBC affiliate NBCDFW in Forth Worth, Texas.
“I just feel like I was doing what any parent would do. So thank you.”
Liesmann was sitting at a red light with her boyfriend and her son Wednesday when the suspect slammed into her minivan from behind as he was being chased by police. News crews in helicopters hovering above the scene captured what happened next: She leaped out of her car, ran up to the man's car, angrily pulled him out and wrestled him to the ground with the help of her boyfriend.
"I saw him come behind me and hit me. I turned around and asked my son, 'Are you okay?' and he was like 'Yeah' — so I jumped out the car and was like, 'What the hell is wrong with you? You're in a school zone. What are you thinking?'" Liesmann told NBCDFW.
“He was just looking at me. I was expecting something to come out of his mouth and it didn’t."
The crash was an especially anxious moment for Liesmann, who lost her 4-year-old son last year due to a medical condition and couldn't image something else happening to one of her kids, according to the station. Her 13-year-old was fine, but her minivan was badly damaged. She has two other children she needs to transport, so the radio station teamed up with a local Kia dealership to give her a new van.
Meanwhile, the suspect said he’s sorry.
“I apologize to them for this whole incident. I apologize and hope (her son is) OK and the other people that were injured as well,” Artrai Alexander told NBCDFW from the Dallas County Jail.
Liesmann has accepted his apology.
This story was originally published on Feb. 13 at 2:19 p.m.