BROOKSIDE, Ala. — Alabama police rescued a kidnapped woman after a wild vehicle pursuit, which included gunfire. Officers freed the victim from her captor who was driving a van equipped with a cage, chains on the doors and blankets covering the windows Sunday.
Someone reported seeing a man kidnap a woman at knifepoint at about 2:45 p.m., police in Brookside, Ala., said in a statement. The victim, whose name was not released, was seen being forced into a white van.
When it was all over, Sean Sanders of Los Angeles, with “an extensive criminal history involving assault, kidnapping, and narcotics arrest,” faced multiple felony charges, said police in this town about 15 miles northwest of Birmingham.
After being alerted, two patrol units saw the van pass a church as the suspect driver rammed another vehicle, police said. Officers tried to stop the van, but it sped off, and officers chased after it. Additional units responded and blocked the vehicle.
It was then that they “observed a injured female victim bleeding from her head being held against her will and forced to the floorboard by the suspect,” Brookside Police Department said in a statement. She could also be heard screaming, “Help he’s gonna kill me!”
As a result, officers tried to force their way in, but “the suspect fought officers and rammed a police unit fleeing the scene.”
When Sanders bolted again, additional police units arrived and they managed to barricade him a second time.
“The suspect attempted to run over a Brookside Officer at which time the officer shot into the suspect vehicle disabling the vehicle as it drove into the front yard of a nearby residence,” police said.
Consequently, officers surrounded the van and established a tactical perimeter, but it was not over yet.
“The suspect held the victim at knifepoint barricaded in the rear of the van,” police said.
“Officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect as he held the victim hostage,” according to police. ”The suspect was demanding the officers kill him. The tactical units breached the rear of the suspect vehicle, made entry into the vehicle, rescued the victim, and took the suspect into custody.”
The woman was brought to the hospital in stable condition, the police statement said, while two officers were treated at the scene for injuries, WVTM reported.
“The van was barricaded with a cage in the back, wire cages over the windows, with blankets covering the inside preventing anyone from seeing inside,” police said. “The doors were also chained shut from the inside.”
Formal charges were still pending late Sunday, as the investigation continued.