A 43-year-old Washington man was abducted and robbed Thursday by two men who commandeered his car in Southeast Washington and ordered him at gunpoint to drive them to New York.They never made it.
The man identified as Lawrence Hagans of Hillcrest Heights, escaped unharmed three hours later when he bailed out of the car on a busy street in downtown Philadelphia. Police on the scene arrested one of the men with Hagans. The other escaped.
The incident was the latest of a series of robberies-by-kidnaping here that D.C. police attribute in part to warm weather. Motorists with their windows open at traffic lights often become especially vulnerable to such abductions, police said.
Earlier this week, a delivery truck driver, a bookkeeper and a department store vice president in separate incidents downtown were abducted briefly in their own cars, robbed and released.
In the latest incident, D.C. and Philadelphia police reported that Hagans, a D.C. Village boiler plant operator, was accosted by two men, one with a sawed-off shotgun at about 10 a.m. Thursday when Hagans stopped at Pennsylvania and Minnesota avenues in Far Southeast.
The two men ordered Hagans to unlock the car doors, climbed in and told him to drive them to Baltimore, police said. Later, the two ordered Hagans to continue on to New York. Along the way, they took Hagans' wallet containing an undetermined amount of cash, according to police.
By 1:20 p.m., the car had reached Philadelphia, 150 miles from Washington.
There, officers in a police patrol wagon pulled alongside Hagans' car to offer help when they noticed it moving slowly on a high speed downtown street.
"They have guns," Hagans reportedly shouted to the officers and hurled himself out of the car. The officers stopped, arrested one suspect and recovered a shotgun from the car. The other suspect escaped on foot.
D.C. police obtained a warrant charging Michael Scott, 24, of New York, with armed kidnaping.
Police used the incident to illustrate the hazards -- particularly in the summer time -- of driving in Washington at night with auto windows down.