HAWTHORNE, NJ - A Hawthorne woman was "fine, only shaken" after a man entered the backseat of her car on August 6.  The resident, who did not wish to be named, said that she was driving alone to run an errand and stopped at an area restaurant for a take-out to bring home.

In what she described as a probable case of "mistaken car identity," she said that a "young man" approached the rear of her car as she was beginning to pull out of the parking space.  He then opened the rear driver's-side door and got inside.  Alarmed, she shouted at the man to get out of her car.

The resident said the man asked where his friends were, and he seemed to realize afterward he was in the wrong car.  He then exited her vehicle.  She told TAPinto Hawthorne, "I do believe he was under the influence because I am under the impression, in hindsight, that he mistook my car for either his friend's or his Uber or Lyft, although he never said as much and nothing on my car indicated that I was a ride. He did seem very unfocused, disoriented, and his voice was slurred. He was not violent, abusive, rude or inappropriate in any way. He did inquire where his friends were, which further led me to believe that my car and I were mistaken for someone else."  Nevertheless, at the time of her car invasion she said she was "beyond terrified."

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Because the man had been wearing a mask, she was not able to easily identify him.  Since no harm had been done to herself or to her property, she chose not file a police report.

The incident "all happened in a matter a minute or two" she said.  "As luck would have it, it was just a mistake on his part, even though he scared me."

"I chose to tell my story to remind people to lock their doors immediately upon entering their vehicle for safety purposes," she said.  Her warning was not only for drivers, but also for those who get into other cars.  "Had he startled someone else like that who reacted differently, he could possibly have been hurt," she added.  "There have been many stories of young people getting into cars mistakenly, believing they are in their rides and it has ended badly."

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