Ione police arrest man accused of kidnapping 2 women

Mountain View police arrested a man accused of kidnapping two women on Wednesday.
May 1, 2014 11:09:45 AM PDT
You can out-smart the bad guys. That's the lesson two South Bay women learned after they were kidnapped by a transient in separate incidents. Police believe they might not be Kenneth Middlebrook's first victims because he's known to change his look.

The 19-year-old woman from Alviso bought Middlebrook's story. He needed someone to drive him to see his father in Mountain View, but he couldn't drive his car because his license was suspended.

She drove him from Alviso to Mountain View. Police aren't saying exactly what caused her to realize she was a kidnap victim.

"She felt like her safety was in danger and that's when she decided to not be a victim anymore really. Convince him that she could drive him around a little more and got on the freeway and intentionally crashed into another car to force them to pull over to the side," Mountain View Sgt. Saul Jaeger said.

The crash happened on the Bayshore Freeway. When officers arrived, the kidnapper got behind the wheel of his car and took off. The Nissan Maxima was abandoned in a parking lot a short distance away, then the kidnapper walked away.

It appears that Middlebrook then hopped a fence or possibly walked into a mobile home park, went to the home of a 61-year-old woman and kidnapped her.

The woman was told to get in her Lincoln Town Car and Middlebrook got behind the wheel. They were on the road for eight hours, heading first to Berkeley, then east to Lafayette and then to Ione near Stockton. Then there was an opportunity to escape.

"He ended up leaving her in the vehicle for a few minutes, saying 'stay here, I'll be back.' As soon as she had the opportunity to leave, she drove off," Jaeger said.

Middlebrook was then arrested by police in Ione and turned over to Mountain View police. He's facing two counts of kidnapping.

Jaeger says people should be cautious when strangers approach.

"Be wary of people, whether it be a sales pitch or somebody trying to offer you money or to get you to buy something or something as innocuous as hey can you give me a ride somewhere. You really have to be careful about those kinds of things because you never know what's actually going to happen," Jaeger said.


Load Comments