DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police say a couple, including a man who had been released from prison hours earlier, kidnapped a woman from a NorthPark Center parking lot and drove her to Nacogdoches.
Michelle Tortora, 18, approached Minh Nguyen, 35, as she sat alone in her friend’s minivan in the Macy’s parking lot. Nguyen says Tortora came to the window to ask a question. When she rolled down the window, Nguyen says Tortora hit her. Then she saw Tommy Simmons, 29, approach her
Nguyen told CBS 11’s Arezow Doost, “The guy come over and cover my mouth – cover my mouth – and tell me to sit back in the chair,” she said. “He covered my mouth hit me on my lip see and he hit,” as she pointed to her head.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Simmons had just been released from prison hours earlier, after serving a three-year sentence for robbery and credit card abuse in Nacogdoches.
Police say the couple forced Nguyen into the back of the van, as Simmons drove to Nacogdoches. Nguyen says she was in fear for her life during the five-hour drive.
“I’m crying all the time, the guy told me, “Stop crying. Stop.”
Nguyen says her prayers were answered when they were almost out of gas.
At a gas station in Nacogdoches, she escaped and ran to another person getting gas to beg for help.
“The one person come in the same time. I’m very lucky the people helped me call the cops.”
Nacogdoches Police later found the stolen minivan with the two suspects inside. Simmons faces kidnapping, burglary, theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle charges. Tortora will be charged with kidnapping and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
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