A 23-year-old woman told police she escaped Thursday from a Crystal City motel room where she was being held against her will by a couple who had abducted her from her home town in North Carolina and threatened to force her into prostitution in Washington.
After the woman told Arlington police her story, a man and woman were arrested at the motel, the Hospitality House Motor Inn on Jefferson Davis Highway, on Thursday afternoon after a brief chase.
Reginald Saunders, 23, was arrested after a chase through the motel's stairwells, according to police, and Sharon Randolph, whose age was unavailable, was arrested in the motel parking lot. Police said Saunders and Randolph, whose addresses are unknown, were charged with abduction and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and held under $40,000 and $60,000 bond, respectively.
Police said the woman who said she had been abducted told them she managed to free herself from the torn bedsheets with which she had been bound as her captors slept in their motel room. She said she waited nearly an hour after loosening her bonds before rushing from the room and asking motel employes to call for help.
Police, who declined to identify the woman, said she told this story: About 6 p.m. Wednesday, she went to the post office in her home town, Fayetteville, N.C., to buy stamps and mail a letter, and gave a ride in her car to a woman who said she was new in town and lost. Her passenger then produced a pistol and instructed her to drive to a location where a man joined them, and the three made the 315-mile drive to Arlington, arriving about 9 a.m. Thursday.
Arlington Police Detective William Summers said the woman told him she was constantly threatened with guns and "said she feared for her life the entire time."
She said the couple told her they were going to "put her on the streets working in D.C." unless she joined their gang, according to Summers, who said he had no knowledge of any gang affiliation the suspects might have.