17-Year-Old Girl Saves Kidnapped Man in New Jersey

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 8, 2019US News
17-Year-Old Girl Saves Kidnapped Man in New Jersey
File image of police tape. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A teenage girl in New Jersey saved a man who had been kidnapped and trapped in the trunk of a car.

Kayla Rose, 17, was walking her dog before going to school on March 7 when she heard “knocking and scratching” coming from the trunk of a black Nissan parked on her block.

“I moved closer and said, ‘Hello?’” Rose told the New York Post. She heard a man reply, “Hello? I need some help!”

Rose sprinted to the home of her neighbor and they called the police.

The neighbor, Joe Bollaro, 70, tried getting the man out of the car with a crowbar but was forced to wait until the police arrived.

“I asked if he could breathe,” said Bollaro. “He said he could. I told him, ‘Hang on, the police and fire department are on the way.”

Firefighters jimmied open the car door and folded down the rear car seat, sliding the man—who was bound with duct tape—out.

“His face was all smashed up,” Bollaro said. “He said they hit him. They had him tied up, his hands. The firemen had to cut him loose.”

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office said the man was carjacked, robbed, and kidnapped.

Authorities told CBS that the man said two people carjacked him before forcing him to withdraw money from ATMs. They then bound him and left him in the trunk of the vehicle.

“Brandishing handguns, the two suspects then allegedly transported the victim to local banks in the area, where they ordered him to withdraw sums of cash,” acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Hillside Police Capt. Lashonda Burgess said in a joint statement.

According to Rose’s mother, the man, who was in his 20s, was wearing only a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and boots. If her daughter hadn’t found the victim, he may have died in the below-freezing temperatures, she noted.

“I told my daughter she saved a life this morning because there’s no telling how long this person was locked in this trunk in this frigid weather,” Banks told NBC.

She said her daughter told her, “It’s like I was just in a horror movie.”

An ambulance rushed the victim to a nearby hospital.

Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading an arrest and indictment in the case; tipsters can call 908-654-8477.

Anyone with information was also asked to call Hillside police detectives at 973-926-5800, extensions 204, 205 or 207.

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