A Utah woman is lucky to be alive after she was allegedly kidnapped and held hostage by a man who may have shot at her as she was fleeing, KSL-TV reports.
The 24-year-old victim told police that she had arranged to meet the man at a Salt Lake City hotel to consider buying shoes from him.
At the meeting place, the woman got inside the man’s white Jeep SUV to examine the shoes, according to a police affidavit obtained by the television station. It was then when the woman realized she recognized the man as someone she already knew: 26-year-old Najee Eugene Christopher, KTVX-TV reports.
However, the encounter soon took a bad turn.
“Rather than show the shoes, [Christopher] began driving away,” the affidavit reads, KSL-TV reports.
After the victim asked Christopher to return to the meeting place and let her exit the vehicle, he “drew a black small handgun from inside his jacket and pointed it at her. [Christopher] continued pointing the gun at (the woman) and driving slowly,” the affidavit states, according to KSL-TV.
Christopher also allegedly tried to remove the woman’s leggings, the television station reports. The victim texted her mother that she “was being held in a white Jeep by a man with a gun,” but warned that her phone was about to die, according to the television station.
After about 30 minutes of driving, Christopher pulled into a parking lot of another business and the woman got out of the vehicle and ran away.
“As she was fleeing, she heard what she believed to be a gunshot. [Christopher] left the area at a high rate of speed in the Jeep,” the affidavit reads.
Investigators found a bullet hole in the window of a business nearby and a bullet in the building, which was not open at the time of the incident. A surveillance camera captured Christopher’s license plate, allowing police to trace the vehicle to a residence and execute a search warrant.
Officers later arrested Christopher at the home of his girlfriend.
Authorities recovered a gun they believe was used during the kidnapping; the gun was found on the roof of a business, according to the television station.
Christopher was booked into jail pending investigation of aggravated kidnapping, discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, obstructing justice, sexual battery, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
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