How 20-year-old student escaped kidnapping
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a rash of seven carjacking, kidnapping and armed robbery incidents at student apartment complexes around Shop and Bluff roads just east of the University of South Carolina near Williams-Brice Stadium.
The robberies happened from July 3 through Wednesday at several apartment complexes.
“Neither one (of the suspects) is cooperating at this time,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters at a late Thursday afternoon news conference that featured one of the victims. At least one more suspect might be at large.
The arrests happened after an alert 20-year-old Midlands Tech student returning home from a waitress job early Wednesday morning escaped from three kidnappers, one of whom had a gun, who grabbed her at the Village of Columbia apartments, 1050 Southern Drive. She foiled them by jumping out of her moving car after they forced her to withdraw money from an ATM and threatened to take her to a nearby house and rape her.
Lott identified one suspect as Raquan Green, 17, and the other as a 15-year-old juvenile whose name was not released because of his age. Green is being held under $40,000 bond at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, charged with armed robbery and kidnapping.
Lott told reporters the rash of robberies and violence had prompted him to flood the area between I-77 and Williams-Brice Stadium and bounded by Shop and Bluff roads with deputies so they could respond quickly to any incident. Hundreds, if not thousands, of college-age students live in apartment complexes in that area.
The woman who escaped told reporters she flagged down a motorist, who called 911. Lott said deputies had nicknamed her “James Bond” because she surprised her abductors and escaped.
“She was a victim, but she didn’t allow herself to be victimized, because she did outsmart those guys,” Lott said. “She had a plan.”
Lott’s department released this chronology:
▪ On July 3, a Monday, at 11:30 p.m., a delivery driver from China Wing Basket was robbed at gunpoint in the 100 block of Aster Circle.
▪ On July 15, a Saturday, at 7:50 p.m., a delivery driver from Teapot Chinese Restaurant was robbed at gunpoint at 1051 Southern, the Village at Columbia Apartments.
▪ On July 17, a Monday, at 7:13 p.m., a delivery driver was robbed and assaulted at 1612 Bentley Court.
▪ On July 19, a Wednesday, at 11:40 p.m., a delivery driver was kidnapped and abducted at 1050 Southern Drive (the Village at Columbia apartments).
▪ On July 25, a Tuesday, at 1:30 a.m., a victim was kidnapped and abducted at 112 Silo Court (the Stadium Suites apartments).
▪ Also on July 25, at 2 a.m., a victim was robbed, carjacked and kidnapped at Stadium Suites.
▪ On July 26, at 1:15 a.m., the waitress was robbed, kidnapped and abducted in her car.
USC officials thanked Lott in a statement and said, “As always, we want to remind students to travel in pairs or small groups late at night, avoid dark or poorly lit areas, download the RAVE Guardian safety app on their phone and if they ever feel threatened, call 911 immediately.”