Persistent passenger jumping into Indy cars without asking

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – You’ll want to keep an eye out if you’re driving around Indy’s north side. Drivers said there’s a woman in the area looking to get a ride, and she’s not afraid to jump into the passenger seat without asking first.

Not only is her act catching people off guard, it’s actually against the law.

It started with a warning on Reddit about the persistent passenger. It was followed by comment after comment from others about how she asks and sometimes insists drivers give her ride.

One woman said it happened to her at Meridian and 38th Street, another at 56th and Keystone Avenue, then 52nd and Keystone in the parking lot at the Walgreens.

Jose Spearman jogs up and down Keystone and knows exactly who we’re talking about. “I’ve seen her on the corner right there on 46th and Keystone going up to cars right there at the intersection,” he said. “Matter fact, if I’m not mistaken, about a couple months ago she did try to come up to my car and I was like, ‘No, we not into that.’”

But not all drivers have the strength to turn her away. “I’m a helpful person, I try to do what I can,” said Juli Woodworth. She said her encounter with the woman started in a parking lot in Carmel.

“I’m getting in the car and she comes up and she’s like, ‘Do you have time?’ And so I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ I told her what time it is and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m late. I have an appointment,’” she recalled.

Woodworth said what started as a quick favor turned into a two hour trip across three counties. She said the woman claimed she needed to stop by a church to pick up money in order to buy a bus ticket because there was a death in her family across the country.

When she wasn’t able to get money at the church, Woodworth said the woman began suggesting other locations to visit. It’s a similar outline the people on Reddit said they heard.

“Finally, she’s like, ‘Can you drop me off at 71st and Michigan at the Shell station?’ I’m like, ‘I thought you were trying to make it downtown to the bus station,” said Woodworth. “I don’t think I ever really necessarily thought it was a total scam. Really, I’m very naive that way. Until I saw her in the parking lot somewhere else, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s totally doing this to somebody else!’”

Woodworth met the mystery woman outside of her car but others said she’ll literally open unlocked doors and jump. Police said that’s enough of a reason to give them a call.

“If someone is entering your vehicle unauthorized then yes, they’re absolutely breaking the law and it’s an arrestable offense,” said Officer Rafael Diaz, IMPD. “We need that information in order to avoid someone getting hurt or that person getting hurt. She may need medical attention, we don’t know.”

Woodworth added, “I don’t know how I’d react if someone just sat in my car. Now I’m a little creeped out that she got in my car.”

Police had a few more tips to keep drivers safe. First, keep your doors locked. If someone approaches your vehicle, only crack to window in order to hear them.

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