The woman desperately gripped a windshield wiper blade, her body splayed across the hood of the minivan as it raced down a Northern California freeway in the middle of the night, reaching 100 mph, witnesses said.
With the temperature hovering in the low 30s, Christopher Michael Carroll drove 35 miles from Manteca to nearby Pleasanton on Saturday with his wife clinging to the hood, prompting 911 calls from at least two alarmed witnesses, police said.
Carroll, 36, was being held without bail Wednesday at the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and domestic assault, according to sheriff's department records.
Carroll got into the family's minivan around 12:30 a.m. Saturday after he and his wife had an argument at their Manteca home, said police spokesman Rex Osborn.
"She kind of goes with the van to try to stop him, gets up on the hood and is hanging on to the wiper blade," he said. "She obviously didn't think he would keep driving."
Carroll sped through Manteca, got on the freeway and didn't pull over until he reached Pleasanton, Osborn said.
One witness followed Carroll most of the way and told police his speed reached 100 mph.
Eventually, Carroll slowed down the vehicle and his wife "was able to roll off," Osborn said. The driver following the vehicle took the woman to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia.
Carroll returned home, where police arrested him a short time later, Osborn said. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, and authorities said they wouldn't know whether he has an attorney until then.
The wild ride happened several days after Carroll was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, Osborn said.
Police received a phone call Feb. 23 from a witness who reported that Carroll had climbed into a 6-foot-deep trash bin in Manteca and was threatening to drown himself in the 5 inches of water that had collected at the bottom, Osborn said.
"We went out there and talked to him for about an hour and he was obviously on some kind of drugs," Osborn said.
Carroll was booked into county jail that afternoon and released the following day, he said.