OAKLAND, Calif. - A date turned into three days of horrors for a woman held captive in the Oakland home of a man she was allegedly romantically involved with, according to a stranger who described helping her after she escaped.
The woman’s screams for help on Monday afternoon in Maxwell Park drew the attention of the Good Samaritan. When he found the woman, she begged him for help, saying she’d been kidnapped and trapped in a nearby home, according to the Samaritan’s post on NextDoor.
While he spoke to the victim, the alleged suspect approached them in a car, the NextDoor post said. Meanwhile, the Samaritan's wife and sister had called police.
The suspect drove away as the stranger stood with the woman who was "shaking, crying and almost incoherent," the post said.
Police arrived soon after and took an Oakland man into custody.
"On July 12th, 2021 at approximately 16:59, Oakland Police Officers were dispatched to the 5400 Block of Fleming Avenue to investigate a report of a kidnapping," the Oakland Police Department said in a statement. "A preliminary investigation revealed that an adult female (Non-Oakland resident) was falsely imprisoned and sexually assaulted by her male partner.
The quiet, working-class area of East Oakland where the alleged crimes took place is lined with trees and the well-manicured lawns of families.
But the original message on NextDoor also expressed dismay that the victim was ignored by people as she ran two blocks until he offered assistance. His post begins with these words: "Woman escaped being kidnapped and imprisoned yesterday. No one did anything.".
"I definitely read it on NextDoor and it really was concerning because this is our neighborhood," said Joann Yoshioka. "If it was my daughter – someone that you loved – it would be upsetting to know that no one came to their aid."
Yoshioka told KTVU she's grateful there are people out there willing to step in.
"I think that when you have a dangerous situation, it’s hard to really assess quickly like is it safe or not. We don’t know if this woman was part of another issue, but I think the guy just had good instincts and he could see she was definitely in distress and I’m appreciative that people like him are will to do something about it."