Man Arrested in Fort Lee NJ, Accused of Kidnapping Passengers
New Jersey police recently arrested an Elizabeth NJ man accused of kidnapping two people he was transporting from Texas.
A Port Authority police officer pulled over a silver 2002 Toyota SUV in Fort Lee NJ after reportedly observing the vehicle in the HOV lane on the George Washington Bridge. The traffic stop was initiated because the officer could only see one person in the car.
The 26-year-old suspect allegedly told the officer that he had two passengers in the back of the car. When the driver rolled down the rear driver’s side window, the officer saw two people in the third row of the vehicle.
The suspect then began to drive away. However, the officer reportedly saw one of the backseat passengers reach out of the window. The passenger then reportedly screamed for help.
The police officer instructed the suspect to stop his vehicle. The suspect allegedly ignored the request and continued to drive away.
The officer pursued the suspect, while other Port Authority officers arrived at the scene and assisted with the chase. The pursuit eventually ended when the suspect got stuck in traffic.
The suspect turned off the engine and got out of the vehicle. According to police, he was unable to produce a valid driver’s license.
Police officers spoke with one of the victims, a 33-year-old man who could only speak Spanish. According to the victim, the suspect picked him up in Texas and offered to drive him to Maryland in exchange for a fee. However, once they got to Maryland, the suspect allegedly demanded more money. When the victim refused to pay, the suspect allegedly locked the doors and would not let the victim leave.
The victim also told police that the suspect confiscated his cell phone so that he could not call for help.
Police officers searched the vehicle and reportedly discovered evidence that the locking mechanisms for the doors and windows had been disabled. As a result, the passengers in the back were unable to open the doors or the windows.
The suspect was placed under arrest. He has been charged with a number of criminal offenses, including kidnapping, criminal restraint, and receiving stolen property. The suspect has also been charged with driving with a suspended license.
According to police, the suspect was already wanted for several parole violations in Texas.
After being arrested and charged, the suspect was transported to the Bergen County Jail. He is being held at the facility on a $1 million bail amount.
For additional information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Kidnapped Men Yelled for Help During GWB Traffic Stop, Police Say.”