Police rescued a woman who was reportedly kidnapped at knifepoint by a suspect in Brookside, Alabama, on Sunday.
A citizen notified the Brookside Police Department that he witnessed suspect Sean E. Sanders as he allegedly tried to drag a woman into a nearby wooded area on Brookside Coalburg Road, according to AL.com.
The woman was bleeding from the head and shouting, “Help, he’s going to kill me,” according to Brookside Police Chief Mike Jones.
However, when Sanders noticed the citizen watching him, he allegedly forced the woman into a white van and drove away. Police later spotted the vehicle as it rammed into another car in a parking lot near Sharon Heights Baptist Church.
At that point, officers attempted to stop the van but Sanders led them on a chase.
Eventually, police were able to block the van and noticed Sanders forcing the woman onto the floorboard, according to ABC News.
However, when the officers tried to get into the vehicle, the suspect resisted and rammed it into a police unit. He then fled the scene.
As officers pursued him, Jones said the suspect tried to run over one of them. However, when the officer shot into the vehicle, it finally came to a halt in a resident’s front yard.
Bodycam video recorded the tense moments when police surrounded Sanders’ vehicle as he held the woman at knife-point in the back of the van.
“Get out of the van! Get out, get out of the van!” the officer wearing the bodycam shouted as he approached with his weapon raised.
Moments later, three sheriff’s deputies dragged Sanders out of the vehicle and took him into custody.
“He’s a homeless transient who has been living out of his van in Alabama for at least the last three months. He has an extensive criminal history involving assault, kidnapping, and narcotics arrests,” Jones told reporters.
Sunday, the chief praised the lawmen for their hard work and professionalism in such a dangerous situation.
These law enforcement officers are true heroes. They risked their own safety to save a life today with outstanding restraint, bravery, and professionalism. I pray for these officers everyday and for their safety. I also commend the initial witness who reported the kidnapping. Without his vigilance and proactive response we could be investigating a homicide.
The woman, who reportedly did not know Sanders, was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition following her rescue.
Sanders faces multiple felony charges which include kidnapping, assault, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, attempted murder, and attempting to elude, AL.com reported.