A Leander woman says her sons saved her life. Investigators say it all started with a frightening early Wednesday morning home break-in by a former lover, and ended after a terrifying chase down a tollway.
Ivonne Phung hid just inside her front door too frightened to reveal the cuts and bruises to her face. Despite her fear, she was able to summon the courage to praise her two sons, Ivan and Luis.
"Yes they did, they saved my life, if it wasn't for them I'd probably be dead,” said Ivonne Phung.
Ivonne says she was pulled from her bed and out of her home early Wednesday morning by her ex-boyfriend Taide Jaimes-Garcia. What happened next, according to Leander Police, is a story of survival and determination by her sons.
"They're heroes,” said Leander Police Lt. Derral Partin.
Luis called police as Garcia sped out of the neighborhood. He turned onto the 183-A tollway with Ivan still giving chase in his car.
"He didn't have a phone and he was in a crisis and he didn't know what to do and he thought that was the best thing to do was and luckily it turned out good,” said Lt. Partin.
As the two vehicles approached Lakeline Blvd, Ivonne says Garcia hit the brakes, then hit her, as Ivan drove up.
"He told me to tell him to go away and I tried to put my hand up, so he would kill me.
After being tossed to the side of the road, she was able to escape. For Ivonne, seeing her son pull up was the moment she realized she had a chance.
Police later arrested Garcia at his Austin apartment.
This incident, unfortunately, is not uncommon. It's estimated that one in three women in Texas become victims of domestic violence in their life time- and a recent report indicates the cases are trending up again."
The Texas Council on Family Violence counted 142 deaths in 2010. The number dropped the following year, but totaled 114 in 2012. As the report for 2013 is still being calculated officials continue to remind women they do not have to suffer in silence.
"You're not alone, there are resources out there that can help people in these circumstances in bad relationships where there's been domestic violence, call your local police department and ask an officer and they'll lead you in the right direction,” said Lt. Partin.
Getting help can be just a phone call. The number for the national domestic violence hotline is 800-799-7233. The line for the deaf is 800-787-3224. The hotline also has an e-mail feature on its website. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.