In February 2006 in a suburb of Indianapolis, Shawn, Tom and the kids were already in the car, on the way to friends for a swim party, when Tom realized he had left his trunks in the house. Shawn waited in the idling car while he ran back into the house. But as she waited for Tom she realized that she had placed the bag with his trunks in the downstairs closet. Tom was searching upstairs. She told the kids to wait in the car while she ran inside. She grabbed the bag and shouted to Tom that she had found it. They then rushed through the garage to the car.
They were just out of the garage when they heard the Acura’s door slam and the engine rev as it was reversed into the road. Shawn’s heart nearly stopped as she ran forward. A strange young man was racing away in their car with their two sons in the back. They screamed for him to stop, but he ignored them and just kept going. Tom ran back into the garage and jumped into the Trail Blazer and raced after him. He shouted to Shawn to call 911.
Tom Raced To Save His Sons
Tom had to race to keep the car in sight. While he drove he also called 911 and explained to them where their stolen car was heading. The stolen Acura was fitted with Bluetooth, a phone system designed for hands free use and set to Tom’s cell phone. His call was in range as he followed the stolen car and he had somehow activated the system. The 911 operator could hear the kids in the car. Tom was having a hard time to keep up with the thief. Suddenly the thief slammed on brakes and moved across the two lane road and stopped the car on the shoulder of the road. He then jumped out and ran to a Ford standing on the side of the road. Tom shot across the road and parked his car between the Acura and the Ford. He blocked them so that he could save his sons Luke and Andrew.
The Kids Are Rescued
But then the hijacker pulled out a gun from the waistband of his trousers and shot at Tom three times. One of the bullets struck Tom in the right side just above the seat of his pants. He felt a shock as the bullet tore through him. Another bullet blew out a tire. Tom knew that he had to exit fast or be killed. He hit the accelerator and sped down a side road. He watched as the Ford sped behind him onto the main road, then he rushed back to collect his sons. Shawn Ardizone was so relieved when somebody phoned to say the kids were safe. She was told to stay put as a police officer was coming to take her to see Tom at the hospital. At last the kids were in her arms in the car and they went to fetch Tom who was to be released soon. The hijacker was taken into custody the same afternoon. He was only seventeen, but both teenagers were charged as adults. The Ardizones had had a narrow escape and would never again leave their kids alone in a vehicle.
© 2017 Anita Hasch