Survivor of Kidnapping Shares Story
His life was threatened when three men pulled a gun on him and his girlfriend.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE - Kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint. An Omaha couple was just leaving a Blue Moon Fitness near 108th and Maple when three guys attacked them. A few hours after the kidnapping, the suspects were booked into jail.
One victim, Joel, has asked us not to reveal his last name. He told police, around 11pm on January 23rd, he and his girlfriend, Katelin, were approached by three robbers. He says they wanted their money. The robbers took the couples belongings, including cell phones and wallets, and began to separate the couple. One man got into Joel's truck, the other suspects took Katelin in a separate car. According to Joel, his kidnapper threatened to kill him with a gun if he didn't get cash quick. Joel drove about two miles west to a First National Bank ATM. The other car, with Katelin in it, followed behind.
Once at the bank, Katelin's kidnappers were distracted and she found her opportunity to run. While her kidnappers were busy looking through the stolen items, she bolted from her kidnappers car. Joel's kidnapper chased after her but Katelin jumped into Joel's truck and the two took off. The three kidnapper's didn't follow, instead they drove away. Joel and Katelin sped through the parking lot to a Baker's grocery store across from the ATM and ran inside to call police, finally safe.
The men stole money and the couples sense of security, replacing it with haunting images. "It's a sense of security that you lose when somebody approaches you in a parking lot," Joel says by prayer and faith, their lives were not taken. Instead, the victims used those memories to describe their kidnappers to police. An hour and a half later, the three suspects were caught near a gas station at 30th and Ames. Jerrod Norals, Deanthony Smith and a 16 year old are now being held on multiple felony charges including robbery, kidnapping and making terrorist threats.
Joel hopes by sharing his story, he can help others that are ever in a similar situation. He says observe everything around you. Listen for anything that may help your situation, remember car and face descriptions. Most of all, stay calm.