ENGLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) --A manhunt is underway in New Jersey after an armed carjacking suspect was able to elude officers following a police chase Thursday evening.
The incident began around 8 p.m., when authorities received a call of a carjacking that had just occurred near the intersection of Cleveland Street and West Palisade Avenue in Englewood.
Enrique Figueroa has a bandage covering the spot on the left side of his face where a dangerous carjacker smashed the butt of his gun on Enrique's head just before stealing his SUV and taking off.
Enrique says he was taking the last bit of laundry out of his vehicle parked next to his house and never realized he was in trouble until the suspect was two feet away and pushing a gun into his side.
"In the process he points the gun at different points of my body, my neck, my head, my forehead," Figueroa said through a translator.
The suspect then took the Ford Explorer and drove away, but had to dump the vehicle in the back of a Food Market in Teaneck with cops in pursuit.
Responding officers had put out a description of the victim's vehicle, which was spotted just over the Teaneck border near the Bryant School at Tryon Avenue and Teaneck Road.
A short pursuit ensued before police say the suspect abandoned the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Teaneck Road and Washington Place, jumping from the SUV with a gun in his hand.
Additional Englewood and Teaneck officers pursued the suspect on foot through the neighborhood but eventually lost sight of him. A perimeter was set up in the area and K-9 units called in, but the suspect could not be located.
While the crime was taking place, Enrique's 1-year-old child and wife were inside their apartment unaware that he was facing a matter of life and death.
"You always go about things innocently like God permits, without negative thoughts, that's when we got in the car to return home. When I arrived, I parked in the driveway," Figueroa said.
Enrique just moved to Englewood a couple of weeks ago, after living in an area of Louisiana badly flooded during the recent heavy rains in the south.
Now his important papers for work and driving have been stolen. Friends are doing what they can to help.
"It's really sad and it's scary because this is really a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood," said Carolyn Gomez, a family friend.
Investigators are trying to determine if the victim was followed home or if it was a random crime of opportunity.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call the Englewood CrimeStoppers Group at 1-844-466-6789. All calls will remain confidential, and cash rewards are available.