SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Officials with the Orlando Police Department confirm detectives with their agency were in Sarasota Tuesday investigating a kidnapping and sexual battery case. Sarasota police tell 8 On Your Side officers assisted with that investigation.
A woman was kidnapped from her Orlando apartment complex parking garage over the weekend and then driven hours away by her kidnapper before she escaped, police said.
29-year-old Michael Lucas of Sarasota is charged with kidnapping, sexual battery, carjacking and false imprisonment.
An arrest report says the woman was in the parking garage of her apartment complex near Millenia Mall in Orlando when a man walked up behind her and put his hand over her mouth. The woman told police the man told her not to scream.
“If you scream, I have a gun and I will shoot you,” the man yelled, according to the arrest report.
According to the report, the woman said she was forced into her own car. She said the told her to keep her head between her legs and sit in the passenger seat.
The victim told police she eventually figured out they were nearing Sarasota based off a cellphone conversation the man had in the car. Once in Sarasota, the woman said the man stopped at a business where she was able to partially see a sign that said “dreads,” the report said.
It was outside an abandoned home in Sarasota that the woman told police the man sexually battered her. She told police the man then ordered her to get into the driver’s seat and take them both back to Orlando.
As they were approaching Orlando, the victim said her kidnapper had fallen asleep in the passenger seat of the car. She said she ran red lights because she feared that stopping would wake him up.
She didn’t stop until she got to 7-Eleven at International Drive and Destination Parkway. She ran into the store, hid behind the counter, and called 911 as she told a store employee to lock the doors, police said.
The victim later identified Lucas as the suspect during a photo line up.
8 On Your Side went to Lucas’s last known address off U.S. 41 in Sarasota. We spoke with a man who lived two doors down who said he noticed police activity outside his room in the last few days. He was shocked to learn the details in the report.
“I feel a little anger. I don’t feel no sympathy for the man at all,” said Aaron Grady. “He not should only be behind bars, he should be serving some time,” he continued.
Investigators said Lucas was on probation in Sarasota and his probation officer told investigators he was not supposed to leave the county.
The investigation is ongoing.