PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say a man who was wanted in connection with a violent attack and kidnapping that happened earlier this month has been captured.
The search for 32-year-old Cody Jackson started on Mother’s Day, May 9, after deputies say he beat and kidnapped a victim who was eventually able to escape at a gas station. The search was called off Tuesday night after deputies say Plant City police officers found a stolen vehicle around 7:45 p.m. and identified Jackson as the driver.
Plant City police say they captured Jackson after being called to a Circle K store for reports of a silver Chevrolet Cobalt that had just been stolen by a man wearing a brown and beige cowboy hat. The owner of the Cobalt told police she did not know the man and did not give him permission to take her car.
Officers spotted a man matching that description nearby at a BP Gas Station on North Wheeler Street. Police say they stopped the driver, who initially tried to shut the door and drive away. But a department spokesperson says another officer was able to get in front of the Cobalt to stop Jackson from leaving.
Once Jackson was caught and identified himself, police say they checked his name and realized he had an outstanding arrest warrant out of Citrus County for false imprisonment and kidnapping, as well as several warrants out of Hillsborough County for grand theft motor vehicle, false imprisonment and kidnapping to harm or terrorize.
Those charges all stemmed from the May 9 incident, when deputies say Jackson got into a fight with the victim at a home in Seffner and, at one point, grabbed a piece of wood and hit the victim on the head, causing serious injuries. Deputies say he then forced the victim into a Mitsubishi Eclipse, tied the victim’s ankles and wrists and drove to Citrus County.
The victim was able to break free and ask for help when Jackson stopped at an Inverness gas station, according to deputies. A clerk at the station told 8 On Your Side she saw the woman banging on the convenience store window and asking for help.
“She had blood, matted in her hair, she had leaves all in her hair,” Rachel Craddock recalled. “She had extension cords on her arms, but one was hanging because that’s how she got undone. It was hanging from her arm.”
8 On Your Side also spoke with the victim, who said she had known Jackson for about a year and allowed him to stay at her Seffner home. She told Chip Osowski the Mother’s Day attack started for no apparent reason.
“He had said that I was going to die today,” she said. “That one or both of us were going to die today.”
Jackson was arrested and is now facing several charges in connection with both the incident on May 9 and the May 18 incident that led to his capture.
“Thanks to the outstanding teamwork with Plant City PD, superb attention to detail, and unwavering dedication to bringing this man into custody, we can say that a dangerous individual is off the streets,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Criminals do not follow jurisdictional boundaries, so partnerships with our neighboring agencies are essential to keeping our community safe.”