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Traffic stop in Maryland leads to rescue of kidnapping victim

A victim was found stripped of clothing on the floor of a U-Haul truck.
Traffic stop in Maryland leads to rescue of kidnapping victim
Posted at 10:44 AM, May 15, 2023

A traffic stop in Maryland has led to the rescue of a kidnapping victim.

Maryland State Police said they arrested 62-year-old Dennis Bell of Lanham for kidnapping and other related charges. 

Bell was driving a U-Haul truck when he reportedly made contact with a victim, who is not being identified, in a convenience store in Washington, D.C., Friday morning. The victim told police she was pushed into the U-Haul by Bell, who threatened her life if she did not comply. 

Bell allegedly drove around all day with the victim sitting naked on the floorboard of the front passenger side of the vehicle. She told police Bell had stripped her of her clothing and used a knife to stab her fingers. She did not know their whereabouts as he drove around. 

At about 9:45 p.m., troopers from the College Park Barrack received calls about a motorist in a U-Haul truck driving erratically and hitting multiple parked cars. Maryland State Police located the truck on Route 450 in Lanham. 

SEE MORE: Michigan boy uses slingshot to save 8-year-old sister from kidnapping

When police attempted a felony traffic stop on the U-Haul truck, the driver — later identified as Bell — refused to pull over, initiating a pursuit. Police said the chase ended when the U-Haul became disabled in a ditch. 

After multiple verbal requests, Bell refused to exit the vehicle. That’s when two troopers used the passenger side to gain entry, and discovered the unclothed victim with wounds on her fingers. Police rescued the victim and covered her with a jacket.  

Emergency medical personnel on scene transported the victim to the hospital. 

Bell, who refused to cooperate or identify himself, is facing 14 criminal charges including first degree assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, fourth degree sex offense, possession of suspected crack cocaine and driving while impaired, according to police. This is in addition to 19 traffic charges related to the incident. 

Bell is being held at the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections. 

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