Pinal County Man Jumps From Own Moving Vehicle to Escape Kidnapper

A Pinal County man really didn't want to drive the man who'd just kidnapped him from Eloy to Phoenix early yesterday morning, which prompted him to jump from his own moving vehicle to get away from the gun-wielding suspect.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the 41-year-old victim was at Eddie's Bar in Eloy about 1:20 a.m. where he met 23-year-old Carlos Ernesto Cervante-Lopez.

The victim later told police that as he was leaving the bar, Cervante-Lopez retrieved a rifle he had left outside of Eddies, pointed it at him, and ordered him to drive him to Phoenix.

The two men got into the victim's vehicle and, gun in hand, Cervante-Lopez forced the man to start driving.

The victim later told police that he began to "fear for his life" and decided his best option was to jump from the moving vehicle -- which he did, landing on his tailbone.

But Cervante-Lopez didn't let him get away. He stopped the vehicle, picked up the victim, and again forced him to start driving.

However, an Eloy police officer spotted the vehicle and made a traffic stop, at which point the victim burst out of the driver's-side door, running toward the officer saying he'd been kidnapped.

The officer looked in the car and found both Cervante-Lopez, and an AK 47 assault rifle.

PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney tells New Times that no motive has been determined for the kidnapping other than Cervante-Lopez's apparently urgent desire to go to Phoenix at 1:30 in the morning.

Cervante-Lopez was booked into jail on one count each of kidnapping, aggravated assault, and misconduct involving a weapon. He's being held without bail. 

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King