1. Archive

Two arrested in abduction of Brooksville woman

Two suspects were arrested Friday in the kidnapping of a 19-year-old Brooksville woman who said she was forced into her car trunk at gunpoint, then abandoned along Interstate 75 less than an hour later.

Detectives said a confidential informant broke the case Wednesday, and it was just a matter of tracking down the pair.

One suspect, a 16-year-old Brooksville girl whom deputies would not identify because she is a juvenile, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. Friday and turned over to the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

The other, Ellis Reginald Mason, 22, of Brooksville was arrested late Friday afternoon after deputies blocked a section of Wood Drive east of Union Street in Brooksville, and a SWAT team surrounded the house he was in. Mason was arrested without a fight about 5 p.m.

Sgt. Mark Rivenbark said Mason would be charged with carjacking, kidnapping and armed robbery. Bail would be $100,000, Rivenbark said.

The teenage girl will face similar charges, deputies said.

Rivenbark said it remained unclear why the kidnappers abducted Pamela Garrett instead of simply stealing her 1977 Cadillac and leaving her by the road.

Garrett was returning a rented movie to Cinemasters Video in South Square on Wednesday morning when she was asked for a ride, allegedly by the 16-year-old girl arrested Friday.

Garrett took the passenger to a home on Gladys Street. A man at the house, allegedly Mason, said he and his girlfriend needed a ride to Mondon Hill Road. On the way, he asked Garrett to stop the car, then pulled a gun and forced her into the trunk.

Garrett escaped after the car ran out of gas on I-75 and her abductors fled. She broke out of the trunk with a tire iron.

That same day, deputies received a call from a woman who said she knew who was responsible. Photos of the suspects were shown to Garrett, along with photos of others who weren't suspects. Garrett picked the suspects, deputies said.

Detectives said they found Mason's fingerprints on the Cadillac.