A New Jersey woman who had been kidnapped on Friday successfully thwarted a subsequent robbery attempt after mouthing “help me” to a passerby.
The woman was sitting in the car with her boyfriend around 10:45 p.m. on Friday night when a man approached their vehicle and identified himself as a police officer.
According to Police Lt. Robert Bracken, the alleged officer told the couple that they were “breaking the law” by being “intimate” in public. He suggested that the couple would need to pay him to avoid being arrested.
The officer, later found out to be Travis Mann, indicated that he was armed and ordered the woman to move to the backseat. Mann took over the passenger seat himself and told the woman’s boyfriend to drive to a nearby bank.
Mann’s accomplice, Paul Dunlop, followed behind the car in another vehicle. While the woman was retrieving money from ATM, she caught the eye of another woman in the parking lot and mouthed, “help me.” The bystander then called the police.
Clifton police arrested and charged Mann and Dunlop with kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery. In addition, Mann was charged with impersonating a police officer and criminal coercion.