A woman in New Jersey has fled to a gas station after being held against her will by a man for nearly a year, state authorities said.
Officials said the woman ran into the store on February 7 and told people she had been kidnapped.
She later told police the man, James Parrillo Jr., assaulted her and stole her credit and debit cards after they met in New Mexico last February.
Parrillo, 57, was arrested the same day the woman entered the gas station and has since been charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation and aggravated assault and third-degree criminal restraint.
Security footage from the store shows a woman running through the door and tripping, followed closely by a bald man in a blue shirt.
Companion Jamie Garthaus told NBC News: “The lady came running, like barefoot, and she said, ‘He kidnapped me. “
“So we ran in and locked the door.”
Officials said the woman saw the deadbolt lock on the shop door on a previous visit and planned to use it on occasion.
According to a New Jersey State Police testimony filed in court, the woman — who has not been publicly identified — had marks on her neck.
Police say they told them they originally met Parrillo at another gas station in New Mexico, where he asked for a ride to neighboring Arizona.
The couple were initially in a relationship, but she didn’t feel like leaving when he attacked her a month later, separating her from her family, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said.
They traveled across the country from California before moving to Burlington County in the east coast state, officials said, and the woman fled after allegedly being choked and assaulted.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin said: “This is a deeply disturbing case in which the defendant allegedly held a woman against her will for nearly a year while he was traveling with her across the country before ending up here in New Jersey, escaped where she is.”
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, Visit our news page.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/19/man-held-woman-hostage-for-year-before-she-fled-to-gas-station-18308516/ Man 'held woman hostage for a year before she fled to gas station'