PORT CLINTON, Ohio- A woman is sharing her terrifying story with FOX 8 after she was abducted in Ottawa County when she offered to drive a man to the hospital early Monday morning.
Eric I. Thomas, 24, walked into a Hy-Miler convenience store on East Perry Street and asked for someone to take him to Magruder Hospital, Port Clinton police said. Nicole Kauffman agreed to give him a ride and was abducted on West Lakeshore Drive.
Kauffman said Thomas told her, "You're going to die tonight; I'm going to die tonight; we're going to die." She secretly dialed 911 and tossed the phone on the floor. She gave clues to where Thomas was forcing her to drive.
"I just kept talking to him calmly, talking about where we were going exactly, where he wanted to go exactly and he had no destination. He was just aimless; he didn't know," said Kauffman.
A sheriff’s deputy tried to pull Thomas over at Route 2 and Tettau Road, but he did not stop. At the Ottawa County and Lucas County line, Kauffman jumped out of the car.
Port Clinton police said Thomas drove at speeds between 50 mph and 80 mph, until officers used stop sticks. Thomas crashed the car and took off on foot. He was arrested after a struggle with police.
Thomas, of Rochester, New York, was treated and released from Magruder Hospital. He was then taken to the Ottawa County Detention Facility, and charged with kidnapping, aggravated menacing, robbery, felonious assault and failure to comply.
Police are grateful Nicole Kauffman is okay, but said the story of what happened to her is a cautionary tale. "I think if somebody is requesting to go to the hospital, call the police, call the ambulance; don't take it upon yourself to be a good Samaritan. We appreciate that fact, but this is a perfect example of what could happen," said Chief Robert Hickman.