This is a true story, we were just informed about it this weekend by my mother-in-law.
My wife's aunt - we'll call her Aunt J - was travelling in central Texas (not sure of an exact date) when her truck broke down about a mile from an exit and gas station. She decided to wait patiently for a state trooper to happen by, locking her doors and staying in the vehicle. A while goes by, and another car stops. The male driver gets out and starts talking to her, offering to help. She at first is very insistant that she'll wait for an officer to come by, but the man persists. Some of his statements included "I've got 5 sisters of my own, I can't just leave you out here." He even retrieved a Bible from his car, and said he was a pastor and she could trust him.
Aunt J eventually decided to accept his offer of help, took her purse and locked the truck, and got in his car. A mile up the road he got off at the right exit, but proceeded away from the gas station and to a secluded area (we were told woods), where he began to tear clothing off and roughing her up to get her to comply. According to my wife, Aunt J "has carried a .38 in her purse as long as I can remember", and during the struggle had the presence of mind to retrieve it.
With a revolver in his face, the man's demeanor changed radically to "Don't shoot me, lady!" Aunt J forced him out of his car, drove it to the gas station, and called the police. The rapist was picked up a short time later, and according to the story we're getting, has been implicated in at least 16 other rapes. Aunt J is obviously shaken up, but physically more or less OK, and will recover. Without that little snub nose .38, things would have had a very different ending, no doubt.
I don't know of the legalities of her carrying (I doubt she has a permit), or her taking the rapists car (theft), and really don't care. Nor, do I expect, do the police, but time will tell. I am convinced that without these actions of self-preservation, there would be one victim of a viloent crime to add to the statistics sheet, and a sexual deviant still roaming around terrorizing our highways.
Mistakes I see here include (1) not knowing who to call for roadside assistance (an assumption on my part) and relying on a trooper stopping, (2) getting in to his car, (3) not pulling the trigger.