A Torrance woman who said her estranged husband was trying to steal their 20-month-old son clung to the hood of his car for more than half an hour Monday as he raced over city streets and the freeways at speeds up to 80 m.p.h.
Russell Allen Jobst, 43, a retired airline pilot from Hawaii, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment when police--who had received numerous calls from startled motorists--finally caught up with him in the 18600 block of South Vermont Avenue.
Madonna Jobst, 27, told officers she and her husband had been arguing about custody of the boy and he attempted to remove the child forcibly from her home in the 1300 block of Torrance Boulevard, placing him in his car and starting to drive away.
She said she jumped on the hood and hooked her feet into the wheel wells, jamming her compact between the hood and windshield, and clung there while her husband "tried to shake me off."
Neighbors who saw the car drive away telephoned Torrance police, and Los Angeles officers later joined the chase.
"It's a miracle she wasn't hurt," Torrance Sgt. Ron Brumbelow said. "She must have a grip of steel--and a lot of luck. . . . "