Mom seriously injured in carjacking at Pantego Christian Academy

A mother of two who was run over during a carjacking on Monday is expected to need six to eight months to recover from the injuries she sustained while trying to pick up her children at Pantego Christian Academy.

Nina Cherry is recovering from an initial surgery at John Peter Smith hospital on Tuesday, according to Erin Steed, a spokeswoman for Pantego Christian Academy, where Cherry's two children attend school.

Cherry is suffering from a fractured pelvis and has other internal injuries, Steed said. Cherry also lost some skin when she was run over during the carjacking, the spokeswoman said.

“We want people to continue to pray for Cherry but also to take this as a warning that they need to be aware at all times,” Steed said.

Police said Benjamin Michael Rowell, 32, of Mansfield was trying to steal computers from the academy shortly before 5 p.m. when someone passed by and saw him. He ran outside the school and threw Cherry to the ground and fled in her van, said Sgt. Barry Reeves of the Pantego Police Department.

Authorities have obtained video footage of the carjacking from the school's surveillance cameras and are trying to piece together what it shows about the crime, said Steed, the school spokeswoman. Several people who witnessed the crime also were interviewed, Steed said.

The van was equipped with a satellite detection device that allowed Arlington police to locate the vehicle and eventually arrest the suspect about 7 p.m.

Rowell got out of Cherry's 2007 Honda Odyssey van and tried to run away before being apprehended, the report said. Rowell also tried to break into a nearby residence before he was caught, the report said.

Police recovered a cell phone, cash and identifying documents that belonged to Cherry inside the van, the report stated.

Rowell was being held in the Arlington city jail on Tuesday and is facing multiple charges, according to the jail log.

Total bonds were set at more than $520,000, according to police. The charges Rowell faces include burglary of a habitation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest with a vehicle, resisting arrest, and multiple traffic violations.

He is suspected of causing several traffic accidents while attempting to evade police after the carjacking, according to a police report.

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