Manhunt underway for man accused of trying to abduct joggers in - | WBTV Charlotte

Manhunt underway for man accused of trying to abduct joggers in Steele Creek area

CMPD holds briefing Tuesday (Sharon Smith | WBTV) CMPD holds briefing Tuesday (Sharon Smith | WBTV)
(Sharon Smith | WBTV) (Sharon Smith | WBTV)

A man police consider "armed and dangerous" is wanted for attempting to abduct two female joggers in Charlotte's Steele Creek area Tuesday morning. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say one woman was running in the 13000 block of Moss Road around 7:48 a.m. when a man pulled up, pointed a gun at her and demanded that she get into the vehicle. The 31-year-old woman was able to run off and call the police. 

About an hour later, police say the same driver approached a jogger in the 5900 block of Dixie River Road, which is near Berewick Elementary School. The man reportedly pointed a gun at the 29-year-old woman and told her to get in his vehicle. She reportedly refused and he drove away.

The woman was able to flag down a passerby who called 911.

Police are requesting the public's help identifying the person wanted, who they describe as a Hispanic man between 20 and 30 years old with straight black hair. He was last seen wearing a black shirt.

At one point, officers searched the weigh station off I-85. Then, someone saw a car on fire in the woods on Performance Road, which is off Sam Wilson Road, near I-85. 

The man was driving a tan or gold 1999 Mercedez Benz with NC plate EJA1151 which was found torched and burned along Performance Road, police say. The Mercedez was reported stolen on July 1.

Police said they "were able to determine it may have been the possible suspect vehicle" in the attempted abduction.

Trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center were closed for nearly 45 minutes as police searched for the man. 

"We put a perimeter as best we could around the Moores Chapel/Belmeade area and used our dual sports to ride the trails of the White Water Center and other rural areas around to make sure nobody was out walking around that wasn’t supposed to be there," Lt. Andy Royston said. 

"Got here and there are helicopters flying around and police everywhere. Several of the trails closed," Keith Maravich said, who is a biker. 

People were stunned to find out this attempted abduction happened in broad daylight. 

"Situations nowadays you can't be safe," Amanda Greco said. "You can't go out in public without being armed."

Police found no sign of the man in the trails. 

Early Tuesday evening, with no suspect in sight, police said they went to neighborhoods to talk to residents. "Best we can determine there's a lot of people out and about and nobody has reported anything suspicious today," Royston said. 

Residents who lived on Performance Road said they weren't nervous.

"There’s really no need to be nervous," Sam Malcolm said. "If you keep your eyes open, your ears, stay alert – know what to look for you can pretty much spot trouble from people."

But when the police hunt began in the morning, neighbor John Little said it got his attention.

"It was nerve-racking," Little said. "I was wondering if somebody done got hurt bad out here in our neighborhood or what going on. I was concerned."

Little said he watched his property as officers searched. "I kept my eyes in our backyard because our backyard faces the woods down there but we didn’t see anything."

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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