Suspect tries to evade police by dressing as woman

April 13, 2012 7:19:29 PM PDT
Several blocks around Jack London Square were shut down for hours Friday as police searched for a man they considered armed and dangerous.

Around 10:30 a.m., Oakland police spotted a stolen car parked at the Jack London Inn. Inside the car was a man they recognized as a suspect wanted in a recent kidnapping and assault in Alameda.

When the police stopped and got out of their car, the suspect and a woman with him ran into the hotel, sparking a search and standoff.

The kidnapping suspect was known to carry an assault weapon, but when he finally was caught, he was armed with nothing more than a disguise. He was dressed as a woman and pretending to be a resident of the hotel.

"He changed into women's clothing. He did try to disguise his appearance to evade police detection," Officer Johnna Watson of the Oakland Police Department said.

Tenisha Pier was in a room on the fourth floor when the kidnapping suspect burst in. She says the man ordered her and her 10-year old daughter to sit on the bed while he demanded clothes and make-up.

"He was practicing how he was going to act like a girl around police and stuff," Pier said.

She said the suspect didn't threaten her or have a weapon. Pier says she was in the room with the suspect for an hour before she was able to escape.

"There was no woman with him. He was by himself. He just didn't want us to leave the room because he felt if we left the room he was going to get caught," she said.

Oakland's SWAT team wasn't fooled. They grabbed the suspect without a struggle and they got his companion who was also hiding in the hotel.

Oakland police do not know if she is also wanted in the Alameda kidnapping case.

The search shut down the Amtrak line though Oakland and it shut down businesses in a two-block area around the hotel.

"It took my business for a loop today," said spa owner Elisher Muhammad. She said there was no walk-in traffic and clients couldn't get in.

Oakland police have not identified the man or woman. They say this is an Alameda case. So far, requests to Alameda police for information have gone unanswered


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