Police are turning to the public for help as they continue to search for a man who allegedly tried to kidnap a woman in Burlington on Sunday night.
Officers launched an investigation after they received a 911 call from a woman who said she was driving home from work when she believed she saw another woman being dragged away on foot by a male suspect on Middlesex Turnpike near Great Meadow Road shortly before 8:30 p.m., according to the Burlington Police Department.
The suspect fled on foot and climbed over a fence at the public works department after the good Samaritan pulled over to assist the victim and called 911, police said. The victim’s terror can be heard in the background of the call.
“I just saw some guy try to abduct a girl…He had her and he was dragging her,” the caller told an emergency dispatcher as she consoled the distraught victim.
In the 911 call, the victim confirmed that she didn’t know the suspect. Police released audio of the call Monday.
Rebecca Morris’s office surveillance camera captured the whole ordeal. She said she is shocked by what happened.
“I actually got goosebumps because it’s something that you see and hear on the news, but being out here in Burlington, it’s not something you expect to see on the day to day,” she said.
Police described the suspect as a white male in his teens or early 20s. He was last seen wearing a black hat, a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki or brown pants, and black and white sneakers.
The victim was able to get away and police located her upon arrival moments later. She told 7NEWS that she was leaving work when she noticed the suspect following her. She said she did her best to fight him off because she feared for her life.
The victim suffered bumps and bruises but she was not seriously injured. She added that she is now afraid to leave her apartment.
An Essex County Sheriff’s Department K9 and a Bedford police officer were called in to assist with the search but the suspect remains at large.
“This is a wake-up call for all of us,” Burlington Police Chief Thomas Browne said. “We need the public to be vigilant. Everybody thinks this type of thing doesn’t happen in Burlington.”
The woman who called 911 said she is still shaken up over the whole ordeal. She is now being hailed a hero.
“I didn’t do it for all of this. I did it because that woman needed my help,” she told 7NEWS by phone.
And after she helped that woman she called her close friend Charlene Reno, who was watching her three children while she was at work. Reno said this was a case of divine intervention.
“She normally doesn’t go that way. She normally goes right to the satellites to get to the Middlesex Turnpike. But she took the side street, and that’s when she something sent her that way, because she said to me ‘never do I drive down that road,’” Reno said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Burlington police at 781-272-1212.