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Police: Teen trying to reason with man before alleged kidnapping

Police: Teen trying to reason with man before alleged kidnapping

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Aug. 24, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.



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AMERICAN FORK -- American Fork police have arrested a man they say kidnapped someone over the purchase of a portable game system. The angry customer drove the teenage seller more than 20 miles, threatening him along the way.

Jose Eduardo Espinosa-Arellano is in the Utah County jail. Police say he got mad when the used PSP he bought didn't work the way he thought it should, and he went back to the person he bought it from.

"He came back to the victim's family and requested his money back," said American Fork police Sgt. Gregg Ludlow. "They told him it's not our deal, we just arranged the sale for you, and he became upset."

A 17-year-old boy who was there tried to reason with Espinosa-Arellano until the seller could make things right.

"The victim, in an attempt to try to diffuse the situation, said, ‘Let's talk about it.' And the suspect said, ‘Let's go for a ride,'" Ludlow said. "After he had him in his vehicle, he began driving toward Salt Lake, and the victim became nervous and said, ‘I don't want to go to Salt Lake. Please let me out.' And he refused."

The teen really got scared as the driver just kept going north on Interstate 15. At this point, he started text messaging for help.

"The victim actually had his cell phone and had been texting his brother throughout the ordeal, telling him where he was going. The brother, in turn, called the Highway Patrol and they were looking for him," Ludlow said.

When the driver turned off I-15 at 7200 South, the victim believed that was the time to try to escape. As they stopped at a red light, he made a dash to a gas station for help.

"The suspect made comments to him that were very concerning to the victim. He felt like he was in grave danger, and that's the reason he jumped out of the car," Ludlow said.

Espinosa-Arellano was quickly arrested and taken to the Utah County jail. Prosecutors are reviewing the case for possible charges of kidnapping.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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