Woman escapes abductor who ran from traffic stop

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- A 19-year-old woman said she was already having a bad night Sunday when the evening turned terrifying.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said Tuesday she had pulled into the parking lot of the YMCA near I-235 and Meridian to call a friend. She was upset about breaking up with her boyfriend and didn't feel safe driving.

As she sat in her car, a man she did not know jumped into her car and told her to start driving. He told her people were chasing him and shooting at him.

"He was telling me, 'You need to turn here, turn there, drive slow, you need to drive calm,'" the woman recalled. "I ended up running a few red lights because I was shaking so bad."

Police believe the suspect was a 43-year-old man who ran from a traffic stop near I-235 and Meridian just minutes earlier. Another person who was in the car that was stopped was arrested.

"For approximately 30 minutes, they drove around the south end of town," Wichita Police Lt. Doug Nolte said.

Those 30 minutes were terrifying for the woman.

"I was like, 'Oh, my God. I'm so thankful for all the things I did with my life. I love all my family,' and things like that," she said. "Then I wanted to make sure that even if God decided it was my time to die, it wasn't going to be that way. I wasn't going to go down without a fight."

Her chance to fight came when the suspect said he was going inside the Walmart on West Kellogg to get cash so they could put fuel in her car.

"I put my car in park, but kept my foot on the brake," she said. "Then, once he just closed the door, I just backed up really fast and drove off."

The man is described as a white man who is about five feet, ten inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He has blonde hair.

Anybody who can help lead police to the man is asked to call 911 or Crimestoppers at 267-2111.

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