NJ woman stops kidnapping by mouthing ‘help me’ to stranger, cops say
CLIFTON ��� A woman saved her boyfriend and herself from kidnappers by silently mouthing “help me” to a stranger in a bank parking lot, police said.
A 28-year-old woman from Morris County and a 32-year-old man from West Milford were inside a vehicle on Friday night near the corner of Main and Vreeland avenues when a man who identified himself as a police officer tapped on the window and told them they were "breaking the law" by being intimate in a public place, police Lt. Robert Bracken said.
The fake cop — later identified by police as Travis Mann, 39, of Hewitt — told the pair they could avoid arrest if they gave him cash, officials said. After suggesting he was armed, he got into the couple’s car and had them drive to a Chase bank two blocks away on Main, according to Bracken.
Police said the couple and kidnapper were followed in a separate car by an accomplice, Paul Dunlop, 45, of Pompton Lakes.
Police said the male victim withdrew cash from the ATM and returned to the vehicle. When the women was sent to the ATM, she noticed a car had pulled into the parking lot and she mouthed the words "help me" to the driver." The driver then called for help and two nearby officers were dispatched to the bank.
Mann and Dunlop were charged with kidnapping, carjacking and robbery. Mann was also charged with impersonating a police officer and criminal coercion.