Local News

Chapel Hill man arrested in attempted kidnapping

Posted May 12, 2010
Updated May 13, 2010

— A Chapel Hill man was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he attempted to kidnap a woman.

Theodore James Walker, 26, of 108 Timber Hollow Court, is charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Chapel Hill police said Walker tried to abduct an 18-year-old woman around 2 p.m. near the intersection of Rosemary and Columbia streets.

Two men were driving by and saw the suspect dragging the woman to a vehicle in the parking lot behind the RBC Bank, 101 E. Rosemary St., police said. They pulled into the parking lot to intervene and the suspect let the woman go unharmed.

Allie Mendelsohn said she witnessed the attempted kidnapping.

“Just after I crossed Rosemary, a car came flying out of the bank parking lot, this little white sedan, just totally unexpected and I stood on my brakes and put my hand on the horn,” Mendelsohn recalled.

As Walker was driving away, he hit one of the good Samaritans with his car, investigators said.

“All of a sudden, this person just fell off the hood and got hit by the car on his side, and turned and fell onto the ground,” Mendelsohn said.

The man hit by the car was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Police said Walker abandoned the vehicle at Mill Creek apartments. He was taken into custody around 4 p.m. after police saw him walking out of a wooded area near Timber Hollow Apartments on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

“I’m so glad they caught him,” Mendelsohn said.

Authorities said the woman might have been jogging when the attempted abduction happened.

"What makes this so alarming was the fact that it occurred at two o'clock in the afternoon in an area where there is just a lot of pedestrian traffic as well as vehicle traffic," Lt. Kevin Gunter said.

Walker was being held Wednesday in the Orange County jail under a $500,000 bond. His first court appearance is set for Thursday.


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  • scraitup May 13, 2010

    To the good samaritan..... "God has not called us to see through each other,but to see each other through" Author Unknown
    Good job my friend,god bless

  • NotFromHere May 13, 2010

    "Just one more reason why everyone should learn to shoot a gun and carry one."

    Oh yes, we would have all been safer if this guy had been armed. And then when he tried to kidnap the girl, 20 people could have pulled out their guns and fired on a crowded street corner. Yes that is the way to feel safe - every nut job on the street carrying a weapon.

  • gingerlynn May 13, 2010

    Thats because the town of Chapel Hill wants to everyone to think that Chapel Hill is the perfect peaceful town where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. But there have been attempted and successful rapes/murders there every few years. When I was a student in the 80's a girl was abducted from the parking lot at the planetarium and raped and murdered. In the 90's a female jogger was shot and killed. Those are just two that come to mind. They need to take off the rose colored glasses there. These random crimes are far more frightening than the drug related murders in the neighboring cities.

  • Wolfheel Tarpack May 13, 2010

    Thank you to the good samaritans. Unfortunately, no one, especially students cannot have mace, tasers, or handguns on a campus. I had an incidence in college and my mom got both a pistol and mace - the campus "police" told us that I could be suspended and, possible charged, by carrying a "weapon" on campus. Yep, even mace. So, I had tons of cooking knives, a strong nail file, long lighter, aerasol hairspray and air freshener, a baseball bat and tennis racket in close proximity - none of those are concealed weapons, but useful nonetheless.

    Joggers, walkers and the like should vary their route and time of day always to help add another level of protection. Always be aware of surroundings and situations and take off headsets when not in well-populated area so you can hear footsteps. Be prepared to yell FIRE and help as that gets better attention than simply help or screaming. In my case, people thought I was playing around and apologized later. Coulda been them.

  • Chplhill May 13, 2010

    I went uptown yesterday at around 5:30 to one of the more popular restuarants in town which overlooks the parking where this occurred, at which I am a regular and is about a block from where this occurred. NONE of the 10 to 15 people on staff (including the managers and staff that had been there when this happened and when the manhunt was going on) had heard ONE THING about this. The Town of Chapel Hill did a POOR POOR job (if any at all) of warning the downtown community that they were in the middle of a manhunt looking for someone had tryied to abuct a student and they were on the loose. It appears that they get an F on what they told the local downtown community during what could have been a very devastating situation.

  • missparrothead May 13, 2010

    Its refreshing to know there are still some really good people out there. Hats off to the good samaritans in this case.

  • maydaymanny May 13, 2010

    Wonderful heros! It is so nice to see people step up to the plate not knowing what could happen. Thank you guys!!!!

  • bombayrunner May 13, 2010

    This man, hopefully, will never smell the fresh air of freedom.
    Kudos, to the good samaritan!! It is people like you that are REAL heros!!

  • grandmmd May 13, 2010

    Yes there are good samaritans still out there. The problem is that they are far and few. Thanks a million guys for the effort you put out to help protect this young lady. I would want you in my corner any day GOOD JOB!!!!

  • hardwork919 May 13, 2010

    Kidnappings in broad daylight in Chapel Hill?!! Are you KIDDING ME?!?!

    If I ever have a daughter, she's going to be well-versed in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and karate and I plan to teach her to shoot as soon as she can hold a gun and she will have her first pistol before she goes off to college... there are too many people out there that want to harm other people (especially young women) to sit idly by and let her become a victim... I wouldn't be able to protect her forever but I'll make danged-sure she can protect herself...

    I'd advise all other fathers and future fathers to do the same...