CARRIZO SPRINGS, TX (The San Antonio Express-News) – Dimmit County officials have arrested an immigrant from El Salvador who they say was in the country illegally and kidnapped a woman and tried to use her car to get to Houston.
Carlos Monge Hernandez, 22, was being held on charges of aggravated kidnapping and burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a felony, said Luciano Quintanilla, the chief deputy for the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Border Patrol, the victim had been providing her abductor with food and water for three days before the March 22 kidnapping attempt.
“The illegal immigrant, he made himself a little camp and he was living out there, and then I guess he wanted to get to Houston and kidnapped her,” Quintanilla said. “He was going to try to take her against her will. He had the keys to the car and her cell phone.
“She was tied up, she was forced,” he added. “She was knocked down on the ground. She had not a bad injury, but she still wound up in the hospital, from the shock.”
Before her abductor could start the car, the woman escaped, according to law enforcement officials.
“She jumped out of the car and was able to get away,” Quntanilla said. “I think he panicked and started running away.”
In a news release, the Border Patrol said canine units found the suspect unconscious in the brush. He was treated at a hospital, then taken to jail.
The area where the victim lived south of the county seat of Carrizo Springs is heavily trafficked by immigrants trying to hike around the Border Patrol checkpoint on U.S. 83, Quintanilla said. It’s rare that encounters with immigrants in the brush end violently, although car thefts are not unheard of, he said.
“This is one of the first incidents in our area with somebody being kidnapped,” he said. “The other incident we had, it was the other way around, some of the citizens here had the immigrants, they had them against their will, and they were getting money from them.”
Six people, including a member of the Zetas drug cartel, were convicted in 2015 of federal crimes related to what prosecutors said was a conspiracy to kidnap immigrants near Carrizo Springs and extort money from them. Sone of the victims were tortured and raped, according to prosecutors.