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State Police open abduction case after woman stops to help driver, then feels threatened by his gun

Driving a Car
Posted at 3:48 PM, Jul 20, 2021

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A woman stopped to help another driver who had gotten into a crash, and now Virginia State Police have an active abduction case, according to court records.

It happened around 3 a.m. on May 8 near the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway ramp to Interstate 264 eastbound in the City of Portsmouth.

A woman was driving and saw another car hit a guardrail.

Records say she stopped to help the driver and noticed damage to the car. The airbags were reportedly all deployed.

The driver who hit the guardrail reportedly said he wanted to go to the hospital, so the woman turned to get her phone out of her car. Documents go on to say the other driver came from behind her, told her to get in the car and said, “Let's go."

The woman then noticed that the driver had a gun on his hip that she had not noticed before, records state. Documents say the woman said she thought he moved his clothing to make the gun visible.

She didn’t want the situation to escalate, so she complied.

The woman then drove him to Downtown Norfolk.

Crime analyst and former detective Richard James said don't stop for people you don't know - just call authorities.

"Make sure emergency help is on the way with the right tools and the right equipment to keep everyone safe, and don't put yourself in danger. You are being a Good Samaritan by calling for help with emergency services,” said James.

State Police said the woman was not hurt and no arrests have been made, but they are calling this an active, ongoing investigation.

State Police said if you are driving and see a disabled car or a car in an accident on the interstate, don't stop. Instead, contact State Police by dialing #77 or calling 911 for your own safety.

They said by stopping, you could put yourself in harm's way.

They issued a statement that read in part:

We understand that first responders - off duty- will stop to assist. But for those who do not have medical training, call state police by dialing #77 or #911, this is due to liability and for the safety of those injured and upon stopping you put yourself in danger of being hit/struck by another vehicle. In this area we are fortunate that VDOT has live fed cameras that are monitored 24 hours a day. Many times VDOT/VSP have already been notified and are enroute.
Virginia State Police

They said in the past, they’ve had to investigate a fatal or serious injury accident involving a Good Samaritan who stopped to assist someone and put themselves in harm's way - assuming that traffic would either stop or slow down for them - only to be hit or killed by a passing motorist.

They said be cognizant of your surroundings, be aware of the vehicles around you and if they are merging into your lane, speeding behind you or beside you, do not drive distracted and slow down. They said by slowing down, you allow yourself to be more cognizant of what is going on around you to ensure you do not hit objects or people in the road. Doing so also allows you to hear if emergency vehicles are approaching you from behind.

They said if you see police officers , rescue personnel, VDOT workers or tow truck drivers , slow down or move over - it's the law.