To 11-year-old Kayla Beasanski, the decision to jump was a no-brainer.
"I didn't want him to take me," she told WBBM-TV. "What if he had a weapon?"
In an amazing surveillance video, the child is seen throwing herself out of her family's SUV as the carjacker speeds off. She tumbles from the vehicle, along with some belongings, onto the ground at an Illinois gas station.
Mark Beasanski, her father, had just inserted his credit card into a pump when a man jumped into his Jeep Cherokee, with Kayla in the back seat.
Beasanksi pounded on the driver's window, screaming "My daughter is in there!" he recounted. Kayla was also screaming.
"He didn't even look back at her," Beasanski said. "He didn't even look at me."
The dad is more than relieved by the way things turned out.
"I'm definitely proud of her," he said. "Couldn't be more proud."
The video shows Kayla picking herself up off the pavement and then walking into the arms of her father.
Illinois State Police spotted the Jeep a short time later near Interstate 88. A police chase ended with a crash and officers pulling the driver out of the SUV.
Tyrelle Pulley, 20, was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated unlawful possession of a motor vehicle, and fleeing and eluding police, according to the Aurora Police Department.
No one was hurt in the incidents, police said. Pulley is being held at the DuPage County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail, according to online records.