Salt Lake City, UT – South Salt Lake police issued an Amber Alert for a kidnapping on Saturday after surveillance video from a gas station showed a man carrying a struggling girl to his vehicle and driving away with her (video showed).
But it turned out that the terrifying sight at the Miniature Marketplace gas station in the 300-block of East 3300 South was a domestic violence incident and not a kidnapping, and the girl being carried away was a small 35-year-old woman, KUTV reported.
Witnesses in the gas station where the incident occurred at 10:28 p.m. on June 26 reported a kidnapping and authorities were able to quickly pull video of the scene form gas station cameras.
Officials said the video showed the pair pulled into a gas station in a red 1990 Nissan Pathfinder, KUTV reported.
When the man got out and went into the convenience store, the woman fled.
The man she arrived with saw her going and chased her, surveillance video from the gas station showed.
The video showed the woman ran up to a man who was standing beside his truck pumping gas for help.
But her pursuer caught up to her just after she reached the man’s truck.
The video showed that with the man pumping gas and others in the parking lot watching, the suspect was able to pick up his victim, throw her over his shoulder, and walk back to his vehicle.
Officials said she appeared to be as “kicking and thrashing about, trying to break free,” KUTV reported.
Witnesses said the woman was screaming for help.
Once he arrived at the vehicle, the video showed he stuffed the girl in the SUV and drove away, the video showed.
Video showed that none of the witnesses to what happened appeared to intervene or do anything at all to stop the man.
Police said the red Pathfinder the man was driving was stolen, KUTV reported.
Witnesses told police they thought the victim was a teenager, and officers recovered a size 3 shoes that was believed to belong to the girl.
South Salt Lake Police Department Spokesperson Danielle Croyle said police immediately issued an endangered person alert, but said it took longer to get permission for the Amber Alert, KUTV reported.
Croyle said that as soon as the Amber Alert was issued, police started received tips and information about identity of the man and woman in the video.
She said family members of 22-year-old Carl Justice Gravitt identified him from the video and turned him in to police, KUTV reported.
Shortly thereafter, police located the stolen Pathfinder with Gravitt and his victim still inside it in West Valley City, Gephardt Daily reported.
Investigators talked with the woman and determined she was not a juvenile, but rather, an 85 lb., 35-year-old woman who was just over five feet tall.
Croyle said the nature of the Gravitt’s relationship with the woman was unconfirmed but that they may have been living together, KUTV reported.
The victim was treated for her injuries and provided resources for victims of domestic violence.
Gravitt was arrested and charged with kidnapping, receiving or transfer of a stolen vehicle, failure to respond at the command of a police officer, assault, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a denied license, Gephardt Daily reported.
He was booked into the Salt Lake County jail, KUTV reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: