Athens Tech Student Kidnapped, Rescued During Police Pursuit

The suspect, an ex-boyfriend, kidnapped the Athens Tech student in the parking lot as she was leaving the library.

Athens Tech Student Kidnapped, Rescued During Police Pursuit

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ATHENS, Ga. — An Athens Technical College student was rescued following a police pursuit after she was abducted from campus by an ex-boyfriend, according to local law enforcement.

The victim, a 23-year-old woman, suffered non-disclosed injuries when a Barrow deputy stopped the fleeing car using a vehicle pursuit tactic, reports The Athens Banner-Herald.

Police said the incident began around 9 p.m. Thursday night when the suspect, 26-year-old Jimmy Hernando Aguilar Garzon, approached the victim in the library looking to discuss their relationship. The victim told Garzon that she did not want to speak with him and warned that she would call the police.

As the victim got into her vehicle shortly before 10 p.m., Garzon approached her and took her phone, according to the police report. The woman then got out of her car and ran through the parking lot. Garzon chased after her and dragged her back to his vehicle, shoving her inside and driving away.

The woman told police she tried to open her door but it was locked. She said the suspect was driving erratically and at a high speed. A deputy spotted the speeding vehicle around 11:40 p.m. on Georgia Highway 316. The deputy had received a call about a possible “rolling domestic” or drunk driver.

Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said the deputy pulled the vehicle over and realized something was wrong when he walked up to the car. The deputy called for backup and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle but he sped off. The deputy pursued the car and ended the chase by successfully performing a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver. A PIT maneuver is a police pursuit tactic used to force a fleeing car to turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control.

Athens Tech Deputy Mark Anthony reviewed video footage from campus and told police that the footage confirmed statements made by the victim.

The victim told Athens-Clarke police that she believed the suspect was taking her to his home in Lawrenceville. She said Garzon persistently harassed her at school, work, and home and frequently called, texted and sent her messages on Instagram.

Garzon has been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, hindering a 911 call, entering an auto, and stalking. As of Friday, he remained in the Barrow County Jail without bond.

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