A California man was arrested in Alabama on Sunday after holding a woman he’d kidnapped at knifepoint in his van, ABC News reported.
Sean E. Sanders, a homeless transient who had reportedly been living out of the van for some time, is now being held on a $191,000 bond by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and faces a range of felony and misdemeanor charges that range from attempted murder to kidnapping.
Dramatic chase ends in rescue
The incident began Sunday afternoon when a witness spotted Sanders forcing a woman who was bleeding and screaming for help into the van. The witness called 911 and remained on the phone while following the suspect before being rammed by Sanders’ van around the time that police arrived.
A chase ensured and the van was boxed in, but Sanders hit a police vehicle and escaped the blockade. A second chase then ensued and Sanders was again blocked in — only this time, officers opened fire and disabled Sanders’ vehicle after the suspect attempted to run over an officer.
With the van disabled in the front yard of a residence, Sanders climbed into the back and held the screaming woman at knifepoint while officers attempted to negotiate with him for more than 30 minutes.
The police eventually made forcible entry into the van and subdued Sanders with a Taser.
He was taken into custody while the woman was rescued.
A slew of criminal charges
AL.com reported that the interior of Sanders’ van was the stuff of nightmares. He reportedly had wire cages in the back, wire mesh and blankets covering the windows, and chains that prevented any of the doors from being opened.
The victim, who has remained unnamed, is believed to have been an acquaintance of Sanders that he met while living on the street. According to the Daily Mail, she suffered serious injuries, including cuts to the face and head, and is in stable condition while recovering in a hospital.
Three dogs belonging to Sanders were also found in the van and were reportedly taken into custody by the local animal control shelter.
Sanders, who had no previous criminal record in Alabama, he now faces a variety of charges that include two counts of attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing, attempting to elude, and criminal mischief.
His van was reportedly seized by the police as evidence.