A Los Angeles man was arrested after he kidnapped a woman at knifepoint in Alabama and shoved her into a white van that had chained doors, blanket coverings and a cage in the back, police said.
Investigators released body camera footage Wednesday showing the suspect’s arrest after the victim was rescued following a dramatic standoff in Brookside.
The incident unfolded Sunday afternoon after a witness called 911 and alerted dispatchers to an ongoing kidnapping. The woman was bleeding from the head and face, and was screaming, “help he’s gonna kill me!” as the man forced her into the vehicle, police said in a statement.
The witness followed the vehicle and provided dispatch with details such as the van’s description, the direction it was headed and tag number, authorities said.
A pursuit led to a standoff
Brookside patrol units saw the van passing by a local church and tried to stop it, but the suspect allegedly sped off.
“Officers engaged a vehicle pursuit. Additional units responded to assist. Officers were able to block the suspect vehicle on Mt. Olive Rd where they observed an injured female victim … being held against her will and forced to the floorboard by the suspect,” police said. “Officers pursued the vehicle and requested tactical response units to assist.”
They then conducted a rolling roadblock and barricaded the van, bringing it to a stop.
The suspect allegedly tried to run over a Brookside officer, but the officer shot into the van and disabled it, police said.
For about 35 minutes, officers tried to negotiate with the suspect as he held the screaming victim at knifepoint at the back of the van, authorities said.
“The suspect was demanding the officers kill him. Fearing immediate danger to the victim, Brookside tactical officers (breached) the rear of the suspect vehicle, tased the suspect and made entry into the front of the vehicle to engage the suspect,” police said.
Deputies rushed in and rescued the victim.
Van had cages and blankets, police say
The victim suffered cuts to the head and face, and was hospitalized in stable condition. Two Brookside officers suffered minor injuries during the suspect’s arrest and were treated on the scene.
The suspect was identified as Sean E. Sanders of Los Angeles, and was charged with kidnapping, attempted murder on a police officer, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, authorities said.
Inside the van, police found wire cages over the windows, blankets covering the inside to prevent anyone from seeing and doors chained shut from the inside, police said.
Sanders admitted to kidnapping the victim against her will, assaulting her and trying to run over a police officer, authorities said. He’s being held in the Jefferson County jail on $191,000 bond.
It’s unclear whether Sanders has an attorney.