Teen kidnapping suspect arrested

December 11, 2008 4:16:29 AM PST
A kidnapping suspect is now under arrest -- and will be arraigned later today. 28-year-old Johan Garcia of the Bronx is accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl last week.Police tracked Garcia with the help of a surveillance photo. They say he tried to book a room for himself and his victim.

Police say Garcia snatched the girl from the lobby of her in Washington Heights. She escaped while he was talking with the desk clerk.

In an Eyewitness News exclusive the teen said she was walking home from school as she sensed a stranger following her, right into her building.

The girl was in the lobby of a building near West 180 Street in Washington Heights around 4:30 p.m. last Tuesday when the suspect grabbed her by the arm.

"He turns around unexpecting and then he moves me to the wall of the hallway and he just tells me, 'if you want to live, just answer my question and that's it don't scream, don't do anything," said the young victim.

The kidnapper forced her into one cab, then another until they arrived at the River Road Motor Inn where surveillance video captured the man at the front desk. That's when she ran for it..up two sets of stairs until she found two maids in a room.

"I couldn't think. I was crying, panicking, I was like 'oh my God, help me'. I was shaking and I was nervous and I was like, 'I don't belong here, I belong in manhattan.' This guy took me from school, nobody knows I'm here?nobody knows, please help me," the teenager told Eyewitness News.

Together, the young victim and the maids called police and her family. The stranger lingered at the motor inn, while the two maids hid the girl in a bathroom. Police arrived and the man had vanished. Now they're looking for him and she won't feel safe until he's arrested.

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