CLEARCREEK TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A police officer spoke to the soon-to-be victim of a days-long kidnapping moments before it happened, Dayton-area news station WHIO reported Saturday.
Dashboard camera recorded part of the brief exchange, which took place Oct. 15 in the driveway of the home where the victim would be held against his will, kept in a dog cage and tortured by captor Christopher Edwards, according to court documents.
Investigators said the 22-year-old victim told them he had been lured to the house by his ex-girlfriend, who told him she was being abused and needed his help. He rented a car, drove to the home where Edwards was staying and parked at the edge of the driveway.
This was when Clearcreek Township Officer Daron Williams stopped to speak with him and Edwards. Williams’ dashboard camera did not record the content of their conversation; the victim said he identified himself to Williams using his driver’s license and that Edwards refused, saying he was on private property and did not have to do so.
Williams left. Edwards was enraged that the victim spoke to a police officer and attacked him, eventually locking him in the dog cage and torturing him over the next four days. The victim would later identify five people who “struck, burned, tied, blind-folded” and otherwise assaulted him during that time.
The victim escaped on Oct. 19. Investigators have not disclosed how.
He fled to the nearest building: A Clearcreek Township fire station across the street. Firefighters were away responding to a call, so he broke a window and stole a parked ambulance.
According to police reports, he typed “hospital” into the ambulance’s GPS and drove to the address it produced: Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Officers who examined his injuries determined they were consistent with his story and arrested Edwards, who stands charged with kidnapping and felonious assault.
The victim remained hospitalized Saturday.
WHIO is a news partner of WCPO.