Jeff Hewett was sitting in traffic Friday morning on Portland’s Bolton Street, about to enjoy a doughnut and milk he had just purchased from Tony’s Donut Shop. The top of his 2006 Porsche convertible was down.

“A guy walks up behind my car,” Hewett said. “He pushes something into the back of my neck saying, ‘Get out of the car, man!'” I said, ‘I’m not getting out of the car!’ I just accelerated.”

After he hit the gas, a dramatic, harrowing ride through city streets began. It ended with Hewett’s hospitalization – and the alleged carjacker’s incarceration.

Hewett, 61, of Cape Elizabeth recounted the carjacking attempt Saturday in an interview with the Press Herald. He was injured when the carjacker stabbed him in the hand, and he underwent surgery at Maine Medical Center to treat his injury.

Richard McDowell Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

Police later arrested 41-year-old Richard McDowell, a homeless man, in connection with the crime and two others. Police said McDowell attempted to carjack two people Friday before forcing a third from a Honda Civic and driving off in it.

Hewett, a printing sales manager for Masthead Maine, which is part of the company that publishes the Press Herald, said he stepped on the gas, hoping to lose the man, but he grabbed and hung onto the car.


“I’m accelerating 40 miles per hour down Congress Street, weaving in and out of traffic, hoping that he’ll fall off. But he’s hanging on and yelling at me, calling me James Bond,” Hewett said. “I’m screaming at him, ‘Get off my car!'”

At one point the man lost a shoe while being dragged.

Since accelerating didn’t shake the man from his car, “I jammed on the brakes,” Hewett said. That didn’t work. “He tumbled into the passenger’s seat.”

Hewett pulled into a street by the Westgate Shopping Center on Congress Street. Construction workers were nearby, and Hewett shouted for someone to call 911. He continued yelling at the man to get out of his car. The man in his front seat then “drinks my milk!” Hewett said.

The man suddenly pulled out a knife.

“I’m trying to push him out of the car,” Hewett said. The man didn’t budge. “He stabbed me in the left hand. Now, the milk is spilled everywhere. He hit an artery when he stabbed me in the hand. There’s blood everywhere.”


The man sprang out of the car and headed down Congress Street toward the Italian Heritage Center, where he stole a woman’s Honda Civic and drove off, Hewett said.

Portland police said they arrested McDowell later Friday in Kennebunk after he abandoned the Civic. He was taken to the Cumberland County Jail, where he was being held Saturday on $50,000 bail.

Before attempting to steal the Porsche, the suspect tried to steal a car from a Maine Medical Center emergency doctor, Hewett said. The doctor foiled the attempt by rolling up his windows and followed the man to Westgate, where he was the first to render aid to Hewett.

Hewett wondered Saturday if he should have resisted the carjacking but said his first reaction was, “I’m not going to give this guy my car.”

“My wife and I bought it a couple of years ago,” he said. “It’s an older car, a 2006. But we love that car, and I love driving it.”

Portland police Lt. Robert Doherty said he could not comment about the ongoing investigation.

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