Sunday, September 23, 2018
Public safety

Deputies searching for Ruskin man wanted in attempted kidnapping of ex-girlfriend

WIMAUMA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man they say attempted to kidnap his ex-girlfriend from a Wimauma convenience store Tuesday morning.

Freddie Lopez Jr., 31, is wanted on charges of kidnapping, grand theft of a motor vehicle and domestic violence: battery, according to an arrest warrant. Lopez could face additional charges, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Office declined to identify the victim, describing her only as an ex-girlfriend.

According to investigators, Lopez spotted the woman just before 6:40 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of a BP gas station and convenience store at 5802 State Road 674. The woman was sitting in the passenger’s seat of her friend’s maroon 1999 Ford F-150, and had stayed in the pickup truck while her friend went inside the store to make a purchase.

While the friend was in the store, Lopez drove a silver Chrysler Pacifica into the parking lot, approached the truck where his ex-girlfriend was sitting and opened a door to climb inside, according to the Sheriff’s Office. When the woman attempted to climb out of the truck, investigators said Lopez grabbed her neck and pulled her back inside.

The woman’s friend ran from the store and managed to pull her from Lopez’s grip through the truck’s open door.

Lopez then climbed into the driver’s seat of the friend’s truck and sped west down State Road 674, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators recovered the stolen truck about one mile from the store parking lot, but are still looking for Lopez.

The Sheriff’s Office is seeking information about Lopez’s whereabouts from the public, but said anyone who sees him should not approach him.

The Sheriff’s Office described Lopez, who turns 32 on Oct. 16, as about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. His last known address was 119 9th Street NE in Ruskin.

Anyone with information about Lopez’s whereabouts is asked to call investigators at is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200. To be eligible for a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477 or report anonymously online at crimestopperstb.com.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

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