A woman in Salt Lake City was allegedly kidnapped over the weekend — and the incident appears to have been caught on video.
Security camera footage from a Miniature Mart Gas Station in the southern part of town was shared by the Salt Lake City Police Department via Facebook during the early morning hours Saturday. The violent altercation occurred just hours earlier late Friday night.
In the footage, a small-bodied, young-looking woman can be seen running across the parking lot from near the front of the convenience store towards an in-use gas pump near the street. A much taller man then descends upon the woman from the right side of the screen and all-but immediately overtakes her as she attempts to take refuge next to an onlooker and then hide underneath his truck.
Police alleged the following details in an initial media release:
A 1990 red Nissan Pathfinder, 2 door, tire on back, and sunroof, pulled into the parking lot of the mini-mart. A white male driver walked towards the store. A female, possibly a juvenile, passenger got out of the vehicle and ran to another patron of the mini-mart, she appeared to be hiding or trying to get away by going underneath the truck.
In the video, the assailant shrugs off the situation and appears to engage the truck’s owner in brief conversation. Then the would-be kidnapper maneuvers around the man, reaches underneath his truck and, within a matter of seconds, pulls the woman out, scoops her into his arms, and throws her over his shoulders as he walks away.
All the while, the woman can be seen kicking and thrashing. And, as onlookers later told authorities, she was screaming for help as well.
“A couple of witnesses reported hearing her yell, ‘Help! Please help me, help me,’” SLPD Public Information Officer Danielle Croyle told local NBC affiliate KSL-TV.
The man then shoved the woman into the red Pathfinder, which police said was stolen, and quickly sped away.
“Witnesses at the scene described the victim in this case as possibly a teenager,” Croyle added. “In addition to that, a shoe was left at the scene, which was a size three. So with that limited information, we did not have a name or a date of birth.”
#Breaking: @southsaltlake PD issue @AMBERAlert for 16YO teen kidnapped near 310 East 3300 South last night at 10:28 p.m. Suspect Info: 20’s-30’s, long dark ponytail, white tank, blk shorts, tattoos right shin.
VIC: black top, pink shorts. VEH:1990 red Nissan Pathfinder @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/IbrPD6lwCc
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) June 26, 2021
An Amber Alert was issued due to what initially seemed to be the victim’s young age. That plea for the public’s help was canceled just before 9:30 on Saturday morning as the woman and the suspect in question were both quickly recovered.
But detectives said key witnesses made the job difficult.
“We really had a hard time trying to locate the people that were there at the gas station to follow up with them,” Croyle added. “We’re still working on that as part of this case.”
That reticence, of course, runs parallel to the scene that unfolded right before several people’s eyes on Friday: a potentially real-world redux of the mythological Kitty Genovese story where a young woman screamed and pleaded for help as her attacker got the best of her — all for naught as the public (allegedly) blithely minded its own business.
Still, despite the atomistic nature of the Utahns there that night, police said the broader Salt Lake community rose to the occasion.
“We even had family members calling in to identify who the perpetrator was in that video,” Croyle said.
As for the seemingly teenage victim? It turned out she was actually born in 1985. Traditional mathematics would place her age at either 35 or 36; that’s why Law&Crime referred to her as a “woman” throughout this report in contradiction to the original and henceforth corrected police narrative as to her age.
In an interview with law enforcement, the woman said that she began dating Carl Gravitt, 22, roughly eight months ago and alleged that he was frequently abusive to her. After allegedly being hit and kicked by the defendant on Friday night following an argument, she attempted to escape and the rest, of course, was caught on video.
According to jail records, Gravitt was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of kidnapping, assault, and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, among other counts.
[image via screengrab SLPD/Miniature Mart Gas Station]
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