Kidnapped woman escapes at gas station, tells clerk to call 911

A BP gas station clerk is hailed a hero after helping prevent a potential kidnapping a 42-year-old woman in Franklin ...

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 5:15 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 5:15 PM

A BP gas station clerk is hailed a hero after helping prevent a potential kidnapping a 42-year-old woman in Franklin County.

On Sunday, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office was notified of a kidnapping of a woman that occurred in the St. Clair area. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at the BP gas station at Highway 30 and Highway Y in the area.

The clerk told police a woman ran from a man into the store and told the associate to call police. When deputies arrived the woman told police she was kidnapped from the Lake Thunderbird subdivision off Highway 30 in Franklin County.

Before officers got to the gas station, the suspect ran away. The victim identified the suspect as Russell E. Deshields, 36, from Sullivan. The victim had a Franklin County order of protection against the suspect during the time of the incident.

Jefferson County conducted an investigation and brought the victim back to St. Clair where the Franklin County police contacted her.

She reported she met Deshields in the neighborhood where he reportedly took her car keys and broke her cell phone.

He forced her into her car after making threats to kill her. He then drove her into Jefferson County where she convinced him to stop at the gas station.

The clerk said the man stayed very close to woman, making sure she didn't get out of his vehicle.

"You could not even get a hand between them. I noticed it and watched them through the whole thing," said the clerk.

While inside the store, the woman walked to the clerk's counter asking which cigarettes were on sale.

"I told her and she just kind of mumbled to me and said help me really low. She goes he is trying to kill me," the clerk said. "I did not know what he was going to do, but knew we had to get her to safety."

The clerk demanded the woman to go into the gas station's office as the clerk followed behind. The woman told her that Deshields forced her into a vehicle and promised to drive it off a bridge if she didn't cooperate.

"You can tell it was true because she had black marks on her hand and her arm," said the clerk.

After returning to the counter, the clerk said Desheild ran out of the store while the woman remained locked in the office.

On Monday, deputies responded to the Deshields residence in Sullivan after receiving a call that he was there. During a search of the home, deputies located Deshields hiding under a bed.

He was taken into custody and transported to a Franklin County jail.

A warrant was forwarded to the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and an arrest warrant was issued on Russell Deshields for Kidnapping.

His bond is set at $100,000 cash only.

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