BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A turn in a road reveals a broken down car- possibly someone in need of help. What would you do? For 19-year-old Carmello Genusa, the answer was simple.
"If I was in that position I would really want someone to pull over and help me out," said Genusa.
So, when the teenager noticed a stranded car with flashing lights on Highway 190 Saturday evening, he decided to stop. He says he knows a little about car engines and thought he could possibly help. The driver told him the car was borrowed and had overheated.
"I offered him a lift," said Genusa, "I was headed back to Baton Rouge. He said he lived out there."
His passenger directed him to a house near Plank Road and Airline Highway, where a second man apparently needing a ride got in the car. As Genusa drove a little further down the road, he says the first passenger began to panic, claiming he forgot his phone and asked Genusa to stop the car. That's when things went wrong.
"I looked down, he was holding a gun in his hand. That's when they started pulling me by my shirt. It ripped off. They pulled me by my arms, finally got out of the car and they took off with it," said Genusa.
Genusa says they took the car and his wallet, but he managed to hold on to his cell phone. Stranded and alone in a bad neighborhood, he called police. The robbery is still under investigation.
Genusa's family was shocked, but thankful he wasn't seriously hurt.
"He was trying to be good hearted and it came back to bite him. I do not want that to happen to anybody else, " said the victim's mother Wendy Smith.
Smith says her son has always been the type to offer help to anyone. While she says she loves that quality, she is sad that it hurt him.
"It's sickening," said Smith.
Crime Stoppers Coordinator Don Stone says good samaritans becoming victims is not unheard of.
"It's not as good as it used to be. If you want to be a good samaritan, you have to kind of weigh the circumstances and the environment," said Stone.
Stone says you can also help without ever leaving your car by simply using your phone to call local law enforcement for assistance.