(12-29) 04:00 PST Oakland -- State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata was carjacked at gunpoint from his state car in North Oakland Saturday. Perata, 62, of Oakland was unharmed in the incident, which happened at about 1:45 p.m. as he was stopped in his state-leased red 2006 Dodge Charger at a red light at 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue. "It's nothing that I want anybody else to go through," Perata said Saturday. "It just happened so fast. It certainly ruins your day." Perata said he was waiting for the light to change when, out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a man walking up to him. The senator, who has campaigned against assault weapons and crime, said he mistook the man for a panhandler at first. But then the man began pulling a mask over his nose and pointed an automatic handgun at him "gangster style" - holding it sideways - before tapping it on his window and bellowing at him, "Get out of the m- car." "And after that, I just lost interest in his face and I just stared at the gun," Perata said. Perata jumped out of the car, which police say may have been targeted for its 22-inch rims. The man got inside and took off. He was followed by an apparent accomplice in a gold 2000 Chevrolet Camaro that had been stolen earlier Saturday, police said. The two cars got onto Interstate 980, and witnesses said they saw the cars exit Park Boulevard from eastbound Interstate 580, said Oakland police Lt. Lawrence Green. Green said police believe at least two men were in the Camaro when it pulled up alongside Perata. The senator told officers that he believed he saw the men at a Union 76 gas station minutes earlier on Broadway Terrace, so it was possible that they followed him to 51st and Shattuck before carjacking him, Green said. Also taken was Perata's cell phone. Perata said he was preparing to get onto the freeway when he was carjacked. The gunman was no more than three feet away, and at one point Perata said he feared that if the assailant panicked and fired a round, "that would have been the end of me." The gunman was described as a black man in his late 20s, 5-foot-8, with a thin, muscular build, last seen wearing a black mask and dark clothing. Perata's vehicle has a state-exempt plate of 1166961, and the stolen Camaro's license plate is 5UBN288. "Sometimes the holidays bring out desperate times for people, and he did the safe thing and just gave up the car," said Perata spokeswoman Alicia Trost. "It's just unfortunate, but we're very happy that he's uninjured." Perata said he was grateful for the assistance of Oakland police officers, including Sgts. Todd Mork and Randy Bandino. Perata, who has campaigned against crime in Oakland and the East Bay, joked that he started the day at age 62 but now felt somewhere between 70 and 75. "I've been around this stuff for a while, but this is the first time I've ever had a gun pointed at me," said Perata, an Oakland Democrat who sponsored the assault weapons ban signed into law in 1999. Cliffs: Grabber carjacked at gun point, article makes it sound like the CA AWB is the only thing that he has ever done.