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Police: Virginia boy escapes armed abduction by jumping out of moving car

Posted at 4:58 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 23:22:05-04

LUNENBURG COUNTY, Va. -- A 12-year-old boy suffered minor injuries after police say he jumped out of a moving car after being abducted at gunpoint Sunday afternoon in Kenbridge.

Kenbridge is a tiny community inside Lunenburg County, with a population right around 1,200.

Police said the boy was walking east on Broad Street on his way to the town park when he says the suspect, 26-year-old Eric Donte Harrison of Kenbridge, who the boy did not know, pulled over in a car, displayed a handgun, and demanded he get into the car.

Investigators say Harrison was driving towards South Hill.

The boy said the man asked him if he could kiss him, according to police.

While traveling around 55 mph, police say that’s when the boy jumped out of the car in front of Virginia Marble on the South Hill Road.

Police said an eye-witness saw the boy jump out of the vehicle and stopped to assist him, and called 911.

12-year-old victim (Courtesy: Family photo)

The boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries including road abrasions and trauma to his collar bone. He was treated and released from the hospital Sunday night.

Police say no AMBER Alert was issued during the abduction because the crime was reported after the 12-year-old was found.

“Police were able to identify and locate Harrison as the perpetrator within two hours, crediting the quick response to obtaining a surveillance video from a local store and having a bystander able to recognize Harrison in a photo printed out from the video and tell the police where he lived on Busy Lane,” said a police spokesperson.

Investigators say Harrison’s vehicle, an early 2000 model Chevy Blazer, black and tan in color, matched the description of the boy.

Eric Harrison has been charged with abduction with intent to defile and use of a firearm in the commission of abduction.

Police said Harrison admitted picking up the child, but denied using a handgun.

“He said he was going to take the boy to a thrift store near the pellet company at the intersection of the South Hill Road and Switchback Road,” said police.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the house to look for the handgun. Harrison’s car and house were searched, but no gun was found, according to police.

Harrison is currently being held in Piedmont Regional Jail without bond.

Kenbridge Police Chief Raymond Hite, Jr. asked the public to please contact him at 676-2452 during the day and at 696-4452 through the Sheriff’s Office if anyone knows anything about Harrison.

CBS 6 is working to learn more on this developing story.