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Man who stopped car demanding a ride facing kidnapping charges

Man who stopped car demanding a ride facing kidnapping charges

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CEDAR CITY — Police say a southern Utah woman was the victim of an attempted kidnapping Tuesday afternoon when a man forced his way into her car and demanded a ride.

Justin Rodney Smith, 24, of Cedar City, was booked into Iron County Jail for investigation of kidnapping, a second-degree felony.

Iron County sheriff's detective Jody Edwards said Smith jumped in front of the woman's car about 2:30 p.m. as she was driving near 2700 West in Midvalley Estates, just outside of Cedar City. When the woman stopped the car, Smith climbed in the back seat and demanded a ride into town.

The woman stopped when she passed Three Peaks Elementary School, 1685 Midvalley Road, and ran inside to call police, Edwards said. Officers found Smith at the school and took him into custody. He was unarmed, police said.

"She acted very quickly and appropriately," Edwards said. "We're always really happy when something works out this well."

School officials put the building on lockdown when the woman advised them of her situation. Students were kept in their classrooms until the matter had been resolved.

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McKenzie Romero


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