‘I could not save my son’

2014-07-21 00:00

TWO hijackers dragged a four-year-old boy hanging upside down out of a car for 10 kilometres while he screamed to his mother for help.

Taegrin Morris of Delmore Park, Boksburg, was already dead when his father, Elwin Morris, later found his badly mangled body, which the hijackers had dumped on the road.

“His arms and legs were broken, and his head was back to front,” a quiet Morris said at his home yesterday. “All I can say is I hope the police find the men who did this before I find them, because I will kill them.”

Taegrin’s mother, Chantel, took Taegrin and his sister, Erin (8), in their white Golf 7 to their grandmother in Reiger Park, who lives a few kilometres away, at about 7.30 pm on Saturday night.

“I wanted to take them to McDonald’s before we went home. I had promised them a treat.

“While I was fastening Erin and Taegrin into their seats, a man appeared at the door of the car,” Chantel.

She first thought it was her nephew who had come to say goodbye.

The man told her to get away from the car. Erin unfastened her seat belt and got behind her mother.

“I told them they can take the car and my cellphone and everything, but they must just leave my children,” a distraught Chantel said.

Chantel tried to pull a terrified Taegrin out of his seat and the boy clung desperately to her arms as the robbers started driving away. “I begged them to leave Taegrin, because he was stuck.”

He was jerked from his mother’s arms as the robbers spun away.

“I ran after the car, but could not save my boy,” Chantel said, tears streaming down her face.

“He was screaming hysterically all the time, ‘Mommy, help me’, but I could not help my child.”

Rachel Kok, Chantel’s aunt, was at the street corner when the hijackers sped off and saw how the boy’s head bounced off the sidewalk when they cut the corner.

His father was called to identify his son’s broken little body 10 kilometres away from the where the car was hijacked.

Police said detectives were following up on information.

Tips on how to respond if you are hijacked:

THE South Africa Community Action Network in Durban provides some tips on how to respond if you are hijacked.

• Prioritise the safety of you and your passengers, no matter how outraged you may feel.

• Do nothing to alarm the hijackers.

• Do not initiate movement — they may think you are reaching for a gun or panic button.

• Remember, the hijackers will be as nervous, if not more so, than you.

• If you have a baby sleeping on the back seat, which they may not have noticed, tell the attackers.

• Tell them that driving away with your child is only going to make things more difficult for them.

• Ask them if they can fetch your child. Do not move towards the car without their explicit directive.

• Tell them that a baby means them no harm and is no threat.

• Do the same if you have a pet in the car. Do not push the issue to where your life is threatened.

• Keep your hands clearly visible and as still as possible, ideally at chest level.

• Answer questions truthfully, especially about firearms.

• If the hijacker suspects you have lied, he is more likely to unleash his frustrations on you.

• Try to listen and understand exactly what the hijackers want from you.

• Try to find characteristics that may help you in identifying your attackers later.

• This does not mean staring, making it obvious that you are looking for a means of identifying them.

• If they kidnap you, co-operate fully.

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