Utah woman meeting man to buy shoes is kidnapped at gunpoint, police say
Pat Reavy, KSL.com
SALT LAKE CITY (KSL.com) — A woman who met up with a man in Salt Lake City to potentially buy a pair of shoes ended up being kidnapped at gunpoint, police say.
On Wednesday, a 24-year-old woman agreed over social media to meet a man near 255 S. West Temple about purchasing some shoes from him. The woman said she recognized the man as someone she knew from several years ago.
When Najee Eugene Christopher 26, pulled up at the designated meeting location, the woman got inside his vehicle to look at the shoes, according to a police booking affidavit.
“Rather than show the shoes, Najee began driving away,” the affidavit says.
The woman asked Christopher to go back and let her out. Instead, he “drew a black small handgun from inside his jacket and pointed it at her. Najee continued pointing the gun at (the woman) and driving slowly,” according to the affidavit.
Police say Christopher then attempted to pull the woman’s leggings down. As they were driving, the woman texted her mother telling her she “was being held in a white Jeep by a man with a gun” but also that her cellphone was about to die.
After driving for about 30 minutes, she said they pulled into a parking lot near 3400 S. Main. When he stopped, the woman got out of his vehicle and ran.
“As she was fleeing, she heard what she believed to be a gunshot. Najee left the area at a high rate of speed in the Jeep,” the affidavit states.
Police later reported finding a bullet hole in the window of a nearby business and a bullet inside the building, which was closed at the time. Detectives also used surveillance video from the business to get the license plate of Christopher’s vehicle.
The license plate was traced to a registered owner in West Valley City where a SWAT team was called to serve a search warrant, according to the affidavit. Officers later arrested Christopher at his girlfriend’s house in South Salt Lake. The gun believed to have been used during the kidnapping was later recovered off the roof of a business, the affidavit states.
He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, obstructing justice, sexual battery, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.