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Hero dad chases carjacker and saves his 4 kids

SUV, car, city, snow

Gorloff-KV | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 01/08/23

When a Minnesota dad faced a terrifying situation, his courage and quick thinking kicked in and he saved his four children.
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Kidnapping is every parent’s worst nightmare. When a heroic Minnesota dad faced this terrifying situation, his courage and quick thinking kicked in and he was able to save his four children.

Derek Gotchie and his wife, Deanah, are the parents of four little children, all under the age of 5. They were dropping off gifts in early December when a stranger tried to steal their SUV … with their four kids inside of it.

Deanah had taken out the last item and asked Derek to shut the trunk to keep their kids inside the car warm. He told CBS News

I’m shutting the trunk [when] this guy jumps out of this taxi minivan, runs to my truck. I run to the door of my truck and I try and open it and he just takes off.

The carjacker had left the minivan (also stolen) running when he took off. Gotchie said:

I saw my truck heading down the road and I noticed the van is still on the road and it’s running and the door is wide open and my first thought was I’m jumping in this van and I’m going to get my kids.

Gotchie caught up with the carjacker driving his SUV within a few blocks. He rammed the back of his truck, trying to pin it against a fence, and successfully trapped it.

“I ran up, I checked on the kids, I looked at him and he is halfway across the parking lot and he is just yelling, ‘I’m sorry,'” Derek Gotchie said.

Thankfully, the children were all okay. The family’s SUV was damaged but fixable.

When Deanah made it to the scene, she asked police, “Did you find my kids?” They replied, “Your husband did.”

Gotchie insists he’s not a hero, but his wife and other parents across the nation think the title is well deserved.

“[I’m] not really a hero, I’m a dad doing dad things. My kids, they are coming home with me no matter what,” Derek Gotchie said.

It’s incredible what a dad can do when his protective instincts kick in. This dad’s courage is inspiring to parents everywhere.

The event was undoubtedly scary and traumatic for the entire family. But local friends and family are looking for ways to make the aftermath easier to deal with. 

One friend set up a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of repairs to the Gotchies’ vehicle. 

And Sheletta Brundidge, a local talk radio host and the podcaster behind, surprised the family with an all-expense-paid stay at the Universal resort in Orlando, which will be a welcome chance to relax and have fun as a family after the scary incident.

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