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Two arrested in reported kidnapping

(ran PW edition of PT)

Two suspects were arrested Friday in the Wednesday kidnapping of a 19-year-old Brooksville woman who said she was forced into her own 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 at 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.

He was taken to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Detectives were interviewing him Friday evening.

Sgt. Mark Rivenbark said Mason would be charged with one count each of carjacking, kidnapping and armed robbery. Bail would be set at $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 side of 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 girl 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 allegedly 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 right ones, deputies said.

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

Mason, whose last known address was at Tanglewood Apartments in Brooksville, has been in trouble before.

He has a charge pending for resisting arrest without violence, court records show. He was found guilty in 1990 of petty theft, resisting arrest without violence and aggravated battery. The battery charge stemmed from an attack on a Domino's Pizza delivery man in January 1990.

Mason placed a false order for pizza in order to lure the man to the Farm Bureau building on Sardis Road in Brooksville. He then beat the man over the head with a cut-off mop handle.

Mason ran off with all but a few pieces of the pizzas, which were valued at $49.04. He was arrested in Virginia and brought back to Hernando County.

_ Times files were used in this report.