(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A concerned wife’s call to the OnStar car security system helped save her husband, a law enforcement officer, from a violent kidnapping and carjacking, authorities said.
A federal law enforcement officer from Texas, who was in Florida on vacation with his family, was in a hotel parking lot in Orange County on Wednesday night, when four men forced him into his car at gunpoint, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a news conference, according to ABC affiliate WFTV.
The victim, 44, was driven around for about one to two hours, Demings said. At least one suspect was armed, Demings said, and the victim was pistol-whipped.
The victim, whose name has not been released, was also bound and restrained in the car, Demings said. The suspects took the victim’s wallet, as well, Demings said.
But the terrifying kidnapping soon came to an end.
After the victim’s wife hadn’t heard from him, she notified the police through the OnStar auto security system, Demings said. An OnStar representative placed a call to the car and heard someone screaming for help, said Demings. When the suspects heard the OnStar operator, they ditched the victim and fled in the car, allowing the victim to free himself, Demings said.
The car was abandoned and later recovered, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
The victim was hospitalized to be treated for minor injuries, Demings said, and has since been released.
There’s no indication that the victim was targeted because he’s a federal officer, Demings said, adding that the victim was not armed at the time.
“Because he was a law enforcement officer, I believe that he was well trained, he had a certain amount of calmness,” Demings said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement today, “We have successfully identified one subject who participated in the crime and arrested him last night in a stolen car.” The suspect, Dante Askins, was charged with armed robbery, armed carjacking and aggravated battery, the sheriff’s office said.
“A second subject is currently in custody, but his identifying information is not available,” the sheriff’s office said.
“We are working to apprehend the other outstanding suspects,” the sheriff’s office added.
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