SUMMIT, NJ — A 19-year-old Summit woman abducted off the street and locked in the trunk of her suspected kidnapper’s car narrowly escaped in a struggle with her captor, then helped police track the man down, records released Friday show.
Shervon James, 33, of Union, is accused of first attempting to lure the girl into his vehicle on Fernwood Road April 10, then picking her up by her waist, placing her in his back seat and locking her in the trunk of the vehicle, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
“The victim was pushed into the trunk compartment by the driver using his hands around her neck,” police write in the affidavit, which was obtained through a public records request. “Once the victim was inside the trunk, the driver closed the back seats locking the victim inside.”
The teenager, whose name has not been disclosed, then called 911 from inside the trunk, prompting James to stop the car, and pull her out of the vehicle in an attempt to get the phone, police say.
“The victim physically struggled with the driver in the attempt to escape causing scratch marks on her arms and left wrist,” police said. James then fled after leaving the girl on Woodmere Drive, less than a mile away from where he abducted her, the affidavit says.
Police said the teenager provided a description of the driver which matched the name and registered owner of a vehicle fitting the description of the vehicle officers later found James was driving.
In their initial statement, which came one day after the incident initially reported to have occurred shortly after 4 p.m. April 10, authorities said that James was “kept under surveillance until arrest warrants were issued, and he was taken into custody.” Police arrested him shortly after 8:45 p.m.
In a subsequent statement posted to the police department’s Facebook page Thursday, April 15, police Chief Andrew Bartolotti praised the teenager’s actions that helped lead to James’ arrest.
“Through the incredible bravery and clear-thinking of the victim, and swift mobilization of police officers and detectives, the perpetrator was immediately identified, put under surveillance in a neighboring location and no longer considered a threat to the safety of the community,” Bartolotti said.
James, who is charged with first degree kidnapping for ransom remains lodged at the Union County Jail in Elizabeth. He is next due to appear in Superior Court in Union County May 26, jail records show.
TAPinto Westfield managing editor Matt Kadosh contributed to this report.