Vancouver, WA – A woman who stopped to give a man water ended up jumping from a moving vehicle after the person she tried to help kidnapped her at knifepoint, according to police.
The woman later told police that a man approached her car near the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Mill Plain Boulevard in the early-morning hours of Sept. 3 to ask her for some water, KPTV reported.
She said she gave the man some water and allowed him to sit inside her vehicle, but that he pulled a knife and threatened her once he got inside, according to police.
“She helped the male out by providing him some water and then allowed the male to get into her vehicle,” the Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said, according to ABC News. “Once in the vehicle, the male produced a knife and used the threat of violence to take control of the car and then drove with the female victim to the area of NE 28th Street NE [in Camas].”
The victim told investigators that they were driving down a dirt road near Fern Prairie when the car started to slow down, ABC News reported.
She used the opportunity to jump from her moving vehicle and took off running towards a residential area.
The woman proceeded to bang on residents’ doors while screaming for help, ABC News reported.
Caitlin Martin said she and her husband, Jamie Woods, initially thought someone was trying to break into their home when they heard the woman pounding on their door at about 4:30 a.m., KPTV reported.
Martin’s 12-year-old daughter, Addison, was sleeping on the couch in the living room when the incident occurred.
“I was shocked because I heard like, banging on the door and the dogs barking,” Addison told KPTV. “And scared because I thought someone was trying to break in, and I saw my dad walk out and talk to her.”
Woods said the frantic woman “was desperate to get in,” KGW reported.
“She was all dirty, barefoot, no shoes,” he said. “She told me that someone tried to kill her and someone stole her car and all this other stuff.”
Woods said he was initially leery of the woman’s story, but that he ultimately realized she was terrified and needed help.
“The only thing I can think of is that maybe he was bringing her out here to kill her, dump her, rape her, who knows,” he told KGW. “I’m just thankful that she got out of the vehicle and got here to someone who was willing to call the authorities and help her regardless of her attempting to break into the house.”
He said the suspect even drove by his home at one point while they were waiting for police.
“A white SUV KIA stopped at the stop sign for a couple of seconds and then took off,” he told KPTV. “She grappled onto me for comfort saying ‘Oh my god there he is he’s going to kill me!’
The CCSO responded to the family’s home and told Woods and Martin the following day that the woman’s story was true.
“Police told us later on the next day that she was in fact kidnapped, then I was fairly happy that my husband was calm in the situation and made sure she was okay,” Martin told KPTV. “But it was a scary situation.”
“I’m just glad that nobody was hurt, nobody was killed,” Woods added. “And at the end of the day, everyone was safe for the most part.”
Police launched a search for the victim’s vehicle and ultimately located the driver a short while later, ABC News reported.
The suspect pulled over briefly before allegedly speeding away and leading officers on a chase beginning at approximately 5:15 a.m., according to the CCSO.
Deputies and Vancouver police officers were able to “pin” the car in the area of NE 115th Avenue and NE 2nd Street about 10 minutes later and took the driver into custody, ABC News reported.
The suspect refused to identify himself and investigators were still working to figure out who he is, according to police.
He was booked into the Clark County Jail on charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery, reckless driving, and attempt to elude, ABC News reported.