Good Samaritans foil Alberta abduction

A camping trip turned into a harrowing run-in with an alleged kidnapper for a Calgary couple who stepped in to help a screaming woman.
The suspect vehicle rammed the Jeep through a fence to block it in. ((Courtesy of Bonnie Carpenter))

A camping trip turned into a harrowing run-in with an alleged abductor for a Calgary couple who stepped in to help a screaming woman.

Gordon Gamble and his wife, Bonnie Carpenter, were driving by a roadside stop last Friday near Carseland, east of Calgary, when they saw a man holding a woman by the waist and pulling her toward his car.

"She was kicking and screaming for someone to help her," Carpenter told CBC News on Tuesday.

"He had her pinned on the ground and the male was saying, 'Don't worry about her, she's crazy.' Meanwhile, she was screaming, 'Please help me! He's trying to kill me! Don't go! Please help me!'"

While Carpenter was on the line with a 911 operator, the woman broke free and ran toward the couple's Jeep.

Gamble swung open his door to let the distraught woman jump in and Carpenter drove away down Highway 817 — with the man in pursuit at a speed estimated at 150 km/h.

She said the man swerved his car into the Jeep's rear passenger side in an attempt to force it off the road.

The suspect vehicle pursued the Good Samaritans in their Jeep to a farmhouse at speeds reaching 150 km/h. ((Courtesy of Bonnie Carpenter))

Carpenter took a hard turn into the driveway of a farmhouse and slid into an old hay sleigh. The man then crashed his vehicle into the back of the Jeep, slamming it through a fence and blocking it in, she said.

On Gamble's advice, the woman ran up to the house for refuge and to call 911.

As Carpenter tried to get out of the Jeep, she said the man approached her and swung the door shut to block her exit.

With the woman no longer in sight and assumed to be safely in the house, the Good Samaritan couple grabbed their Labrador retriever and ran onto the highway — while on the phone with 911.

They could hear the man screaming, so they got into the bushes and flagged down the RCMP when they heard sirens approaching, said Carpenter.

"The girl was now on the highway running towards us. I grabbed her in a hug, she cried hysterically," she said.

Man from Manitoba arrested

Police arrested a 26-year-old man at gunpoint.

The suspect from Manitoba was charged with several offences, including kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and mischief, the RCMP said Monday.

The woman, 27, had known the man for about a week when he asked her to go for a ride with him. She voluntarily got into the vehicle, said police.

The driver had stolen some gasoline from a station in Calgary and sped east at speeds estimated at 185 to 200 km/h.

The woman tried to use her cellphone but the man threw it out the car window. It was only when she tried to open the car door that he stopped at the roadside turnoff, where the Calgary couple noticed them.