LINCOLN CITY, Ore. – Police in the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City are asking the public for help in locating a suspect they say tried to kidnap a teenage female at an outlet mall.
Investigators said the man forced his way into the woman’s car after asking her for money and cut her with a knife before driving her to a secluded barn on a gravel road about a mile from the mall. The victim’s sister witnessed the attack and also called police.
But the woman, identified as Chelsea Hopkins, 18, reportedly kept her composure and when the opportunity presented itself, she bolted from the moving car and made her escape.
With the knife-wielding suspect in pursuit, she ran through bushes and barbed wife fences to get to a nearby farm house where residents gave her assistance and called police.
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Hopkins was slashed multiple times on her arm and leg but is expected to recover. She reportedly kicked off her flip-flops and ran barefoot to escape her attacker.
Police say the attempted kidnapping took place at the Tanger outlet mall at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Police said they also think the man could be a suspect they are seeking after two hotel workers were threatened by a man with a knife about an hour before the incident at the mall.
Police released some security camera images of the suspect, who they describe as a white male, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with an average build and reddish hair.
They also said the suspect has bad teeth and is missing some upper front teeth.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call their local police or the Lincoln City police immediately.