Suspect arrested, accused in abduction of Youngstown store manager

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police have made an arrest in connection to the abduction of a store manager in Youngstown.

William Allen, 34, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Mahoning County Jail on two counts of abduction.

Canfield Road Family Dollar manager Gina Whitacre said a man was shoplifting in the store Tuesday night. When she went outside, following company policy, to get the license plate number on the van of the suspect, she was pulled inside the vehicle and the driver took off.

Whitacre said outside the Youngstown Police Department Wednesday that she didn’t intend on fighting with the suspect.

“I’m not fighting these big guys, it’s just stuff. They kept hitting me and hitting me and hitting me,” she said through tears. “I thought I was going to die.”

You can watch her full interview in the player below:

The nightmare started shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday when a customer walked past Whitacre and a co-worker carrying a large, plastic bin full of clothing.

“And he said, ‘I’m gonna have a good night,’ and he smashed through our door. He actually, like, broke the hinge on our door,” Whitacre said.

The man reportedly filled a basket with several items then said “see you ladies later” before running into the van in the parking lot.

Whitacre ran outside and was pulled inside the van and the driver drove away.

“Back passenger swung open and the guy grabbed me by my hair and flung me into the car,” Whitacre said.

Whitacre realized there were three men in the car, each taking turns hitting and kicking her.

“I’m hitting the driver and scratching his eyes and trying to get out,” Whitacre said. “I kept trying to grab the wheel and, like, make us wreck into anything so the car would stop. I was just trying to get him to stop.”

Whitacre said when the car got to Bears Den Road, she thought they would throw her off a bridge there.

“I told them, ‘I have kids.’ I told them everything. I said, ‘Just please let me out,’” she said through tears.

Whitacre was able to get out of the car on Billingsgate Avenue. A door opened and she jumped out of the car. One of the men ran after her, but she recognized a customer she knows and asked them to call police.

“They literally saved my life… I don’t think they realized that, if they wouldn’t have gotten there, I don’t know what would have happened,” Whitacre said.

The man chasing her got back in the car, which backed out of the drive, almost hitting another car, and drove off.

She asked the customer to take her back to the store and the customer agreed.

Whitacre thinks the whole episode lasted only three or four minutes and at one point, said one of the men told her they were using heroin at the time.

“Heroin, like, you literally kidnapped me over heroin? Why?” Whitacre wonders.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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