Driver kidnapped at gunpoint drove erratically so he’d get pulled over, Fla. cops say

The man told deputies he'd been held against his will for several days and couldn’t call 911

By Madeleine List
The Charlotte Observer

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A man who was kidnapped and forced behind the wheel at gunpoint drove erratically to get the attention of law enforcement, according to a Florida sheriff’s office.

On Wednesday, June 15, Martin County sheriff’s deputies on highway patrol noticed a vehicle speeding and cutting across three lanes of traffic on Interstate 95 in Stuart, Florida, Sgt. John Dellacroce of the Port St. Lucie Police Department told McClatchy News.

They pulled the vehicle over and asked the driver and three passengers to get out of the car, according to an arrest report from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies gave the driver a written warning, but as he was walking back to his car he put his hand behind his back and made a gesture mimicking a gun shooting, according to the report.

The deputies asked the man to come back to their cruiser, where he told them that he had been held against his will for several days and couldn’t call 911. When he saw the patrol vehicle, he sped up and crossed the lanes of traffic hoping to get the attention of police, the report says.

He also told deputies that there were multiple firearms inside the vehicle.

Deputies asked the three passengers, identified Tsdekiel Sellers, 22, of Atlanta; Benyahveen Radcliffe, 25, of Buffalo; and Kashaveeyah Bragdon, 22, of Tallahassee; to get back out of the car. They found a steak knife in Radcliffe’s hoodie, a loaded Glock handgun in the backseat armrest and a Smith and Wesson firearm behind the glovebox.

Radcliffe and Sellers had gone into the Port St. Lucie home of the victim with semi-automatic pistols earlier in the day on June 15, according to an arrest report from the Port St. Lucie Police Department. The victim is a dog breeder and the men were demanding to know where to find cash and dogs.

The men took $4,500 in cash and a few brand-name clothing items worth about $8,400, before forcing him into a car and making him drive. Bragdon followed in a separate car, according to the arrest report.

The men made the victim drive to several hotels in the area. At one hotel, the victim purchased a room and when asked to sign a receipt, he wrote “Call 911” on it before handing it back to the receptionist, but she never called authorities, the report says.

In a hotel room, Radcliffe held a knife to the victim’s face and demanded to know where his dogs were, according to police.

The victim eventually agreed to drive the men to Miami where he said the dogs were, the report says. Radcliffe, Sellers and Bragdon all got into the car with the victim. Port St. Lucie is about 115 miles north of Miami.

Deputies with the Martin County Sheriff’s Department stopped their vehicle at around 8:30 p.m., according to the sheriff’s report.

Documents show that Radcliffe, Sellers and Bragdon were arrested and charged with:

  • home invasion robbery with a firearm
  • carjacking with a deadly weapon
  • aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • burglary of a dwelling while armed
  • third-degree grand theft of $10,000 or more but less than $20,000
  • using a firearm during a felony
  • kidnapping
  • false imprisonment
  • and tampering with a witness.

Bail was set at $405,000 for each of the three men.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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