Maryland police find kidnapped woman in U-Haul after wild chase ending in ditch
Maryland police discovered a kidnapped woman naked in a U-Haul truck after the man driving the vehicle led them on a wild chase that ended with him crashing into a ditch.
The suspect, Dennis Bell, 62, of Lanham, was arrested by Maryland State Police after a traffic stop Friday night in his town, cops said.
The disturbing episode unfolded Friday morning, police said.
A preliminary probe determined Bell was driving the U-Haul truck when he engaged with the unidentified victim at a convenience store in Washington, DC, Maryland State Police said.
Lanham is about 15 miles north of the nation’s capital.
The victim told police Bell pushed her into the U-Haul and threatened to kill her if she did not submit to his demands, authorities said.
Bell reportedly drove around all day with the helpless victim sitting on the floorboard in the front seat, police said.
The victim told authorities Bell removed her clothes in the truck and stabbed her fingers with a pocket knife, cops said.
The woman told police she “did not know where she was throughout the day while Bell continued to drive,” state authorities said.
At about 9:45 Friday night, troopers from the College Park Barrack received multiple calls from motorists reporting a U-Haul truck “driving erratically and striking multiple parked vehicles” while traveling in the area of Princess Garden Parkway in Lanham, authorities said.
Maryland State Police spotted the U-Haul truck on Route 450 in Lanham and tried to pull the vehicle over, officials said.
However, Bell refused to stop and led police on a roughly 10-mile chase that ended when the suspect drove the vehicle into the ditch, officials said.
Two state troopers approached the passenger side of the U-Haul, but Bell refused to exit the U-Haul, police said.
They discovered the naked woman when they entered the passenger side window, state police said.
She was sitting on the floor board in the front seat with wounds to her fingers, authorities said.
Cops covered the naked woman with an agency-issued jacket and EMS took her to a local hospital, Maryland State Police said.
Bell was “uncooperative” and refused to identify himself, authorities said. He was arrested at the scene and taken to the hospital before being movted to the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections, officials said.
Bell now faces 14 criminal charges including first-degree assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, fourth-degree sex offense, possession of suspected crack cocaine and driving while impaired, cops said.
Bell is also facing 19 traffic charges related to the incident, officials said.