Local News

Woman shares tale of escape from possible kidnapper

Posted March 22, 2010

— Police on Monday charged a Sanford man in the attempted abduction of a woman outside a local convenience store.

Ralph Edward Collins, 57, of 110 Thistlecone Lane, was charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held in the Lee County jail under a $75,000 secured bond.

Mike Buchanan, Good Samaritan who helped kidnap victim Good Samaritan aids woman after kidnapping

A 24-year-old woman told police that she stopped at Stewart's Convenience Store, 902 Broadway Road, after dropping her child off at a day-care center. A man whom she recognized as a friend of a friend pulled up in a black Toyota Corolla and forced her into the car, she told police.

The man pistol-whipped the woman inside the car as he drove off, she said, but she was able to get control of the car long enough to stop it and jump out.

Mike Buchanan said he was stocking Coca-Cola products at the BP Station at 812 S. Horner Blvd. when the woman rushed in shortly before 8 a.m. and fell to the floor, crying and out of breath.

"Somehow she pulled the emergency brake, and she jumped out," Buchanan said. "She was hysterical.

"She was not hurt or anything like that. She kept holding her chest, but I think that was (because) she couldn't breathe. She was so terrified, but that's understandable."

The woman refused medical treatment and wasn't seriously injured, Capt. David Smith of the Sanford Police Department said.

Smith said the assailant apparently wanted to have a relationship with the woman, but the feeling wasn't mutual.

Collins drove to the police station with another woman late Monday morning and was charged after being questioned by investigators.


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  • bluewind Mar 22, 2010

    what a creep, and a pervert!

  • 2headstrong Mar 22, 2010

    Glad she got away!

    To the commenter who asked why people have to criticize the story: if the articles went by without comment or criticism, the authors (I refuse to use the term journalists when referring to WRAL staff) would wrongly assume they are doing a good job, and the quality of the news provided would decline further from its already-pitiful state.

  • CherryDarling Mar 22, 2010

    Is it me - or is Lee County/Sanford becoming a haven for every kind of criminal imaginable?!?!?

  • Maddie girl Mar 22, 2010

    seems a lot is going on in lee county ??????

  • jimmycrackcorn Mar 22, 2010

    Wow what a weirdo.

  • mad_dash Mar 22, 2010

    He looks right scary to me!! I would lock my doors if I seen him anywhere..

  • freedomrings Mar 22, 2010

    I'm so glad she was able to get away. He knew her and he kidnapped her using force. This tells me he was probably not planning on letting her live to be a witness.

    Perhaps Captain David Smith of the Sanford Police Department didn't think about that before he opened his mouth.

  • Commonscents Mar 22, 2010

    Friend of a friend. She needs some new friends. This guy just looks like a weirdo!!! I think I've seen him before on Lifetime Network or one of those other 'men are pigs' networks.

  • itsmyownopinion Mar 22, 2010

    I'm glad they now have the charges right -- that attempted thing really bugged me. I still can't believe any competent investigator would make such a statement. Only cave men should suggest such behavior was a desired relationship on the part of the perpetrator.

  • Joani P. Mar 22, 2010

    Well, looks like he couldn't bite....i don't think he has teeth, if so, it's somer teeth, some are here and some are there!