A WOMAN was dragged hundreds of metres along a road by a car driven by thieves who tried to snatch her handbag.
Her young son looked on in horror as the woman was pulled by a silver Opel Corsa through the Ballyowen Shopping Centre in Lucan, Co Dublin.
The driver of the car, who witnesses described as wearing white gloves, swerved left and right as he drove down the street in an attempt to get the woman to let go of the car.
Witnesses told how they could not tell if the woman, who appeared to be of Chinese ethnicity, was clutching on to her handbag or if her clothes had got caught in the passenger door as a man opened it to snatch her bag.
A taxi driver who witnessed the incident said the woman may have been run over during the ordeal.
"There were a few drivers and people ran out of Fitzgerald's pub, which is next to Lidl," explained the taxi driver.
"They were trying to calm her down and make her comfortable. Members of the Travelling community diverted traffic while they waited for the ambulance."
A crowd swiftly gathered as the incident occurred during rush hour at around 5.30pm as she walked along the street.
Onlookers described how the woman's white trousers were badly ripped as she finally fell to the ground, around 180m down the road.
Her young son, believed to be five years old, was looked after by people who witnessed the incident.
"I looked out and heard people screaming. Her young son was screaming. Her husband then arrived down and he was shaking uncontrollably," said one local man.
A fire-brigade crew were first on the scene as the victim appeared conscious but barely moving as they tried to treat her at the scene before taking her to Blanchardstown hospital with serious pelvic injuries.
The thieves made away from the scene in the car. There were conflicting reports from onlookers at the scene as to the number of people in the car.
Gardai reported finding a burnt-out car around 100 metres away in Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, shortly after the incident.
Local resident Mary Quinn, who witnessed the drama unfold, told how she saw the woman being dragged down the street.
"It looked as if all the windows in the car were open. You wouldn't know if she was holding on to the window or caught in the door," said Ms Quinn.
"She was being dragged down the street. I'd say she was holding on but she was being pulled down the road.
"A taxi driver was trying to block the car and box it in but he didn't get there in time. He would have been rammed if his car did get in front of them (the robbers)."