FT. WRIGHT, Ky. - Police in Northern Kentucky say a 20-year-old woman was kidnapped from a gas station by a man who was released from prison last month.
Police say 34-year-old Jerry Smith knocked on the woman's car window at the Speedway gas station on Madison Pike, around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, forced his way into the vehicle, put a knife to her throat and demanded that she drive him to Georgetown.
The Independence woman somehow convinced Smith to pull over near a rest stop along southbound I-75 in Scott County around 11 p.m. and ran away for help screaming, according to police.
Smith also ran from the car, crossing over the interstate and headed northbound to another rest stop.
Police were alerted to that rest area after a suspicious person had not come out of the bathroom.
"I came back in about 45 minutes later doing my rounds again and he was still in there in the same spot. [He] hadn't moved," said the employee who discovered Smith.
Officers arrived around 1:20 a.m. and arrested Smith who admitted to the kidnapping. He is charged with kidnapping, terroristic threatening, wanton endangerment and public intoxication and is currently behind bars at the Scott County Detention Center.
Smith was released from prison on Dec. 10, 2010 after serving nearly 10 years for rape, kidnapping, gross sexual imposition and robbery. He was then referred to the Volunteers of America halfway house on Dec. 13.
Authorities say he walked away from the Volunteers of America halfway house in Cincinnati while he was on approved external activity on Thursday and failed to return at noon. Upon his failure to return, the halfway house contacted the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and an alert was issued.
Police say there is no rape in this case and the woman, whose name is not being released, was not injured.
"The victim was not harmed, other than the trauma of going through having a knife to her throat and being threatened with death," said Police Chief Daniel Kreinest of the Fort Wright Police Department.
The victim's bold move-- stopping the car-- probably saved the young woman's life according to Chief Kreinest.
“An arrest was made. Once the abduction had occurred, this is probably about as good as anybody could have expected," Kreinest said.
The incident remains under investigation.
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