‘I remember sitting upwards and seeing the car moving and realizing I’m being kidnapped’: Cheektowaga woman recounts terrifying moments of almost being taken from her driveway

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s every woman’s worst fear. A Cheektowaga resident says she was almost kidnapped after getting home from a bar early Saturday morning.

The woman managed to escape the man after he forced her into his SUV.

“You want to say, ‘oh I would’ve noticed. It wouldn’t have been me. I would have noticed,’ but you don’t. These people are good at this and have likely done this before,” she said.

When Kelly left the bar Lucky Day in downtown Buffalo, she says she had no idea someone could be following her to her home in Cheektowaga. 

“I’m very good about … as a woman you have to be, I’m very good about locking my door the second I get in my car everywhere I go. Wegmans, anywhere, gas stations. I’m always very cautious of the people around me.”

The 26-year-old says she tries to always be aware of her surroundings. She was not expecting a stranger to be waiting for her in her driveway. 

 “I got out, this individual was right behind my car door. Very dark where he was standing, basically came out of the shadows.”

Kelly says the man forced himself on her and she pushed him away. 

“He had made a comment about me being at a bar and I remember thinking, ‘how does this person know I was at a bar before this?'”

He then grabbed onto her arm and dragged her to his SUV. 

“I told him, ‘you’re going to have to kill me because I was not going with him alive.'”

She put up a fight, scratching and hitting the man. 

“I just remember struggling and in that moment, he threw me into the back seat of his car. Shut the doors. There must have been child lock on because immediately my first reaction was open the doors, open the doors, but they weren’t opening.”

As he started driving away, Kelly says she leaned over the seat and yanked on the steering wheel. 

“I had to fight because once I get to wherever he’s taking me, I may never be found.”

The man drove up on the curb near Miami Parkway and George Urban Boulevard. Kelly believes when the man braked, he also unlocked the door. She made a run for it. 

“I looked over my shoulder to see if he was chasing me and he wasn’t. I saw his car speeding down George Urban.”

Kelly still had her phone on her and called her parents, who then took her to file a report with Cheektowaga police.

“I feel like I need to channel everything that I am feeling into finding him.”

Friday night, Kelly stopped by multiple bars downtown. She’s still not sure when she became a target.

“I wasn’t dressed a certain way, I wasn’t acting a certain way. I was enjoying my evening. At a bar with other women. I don’t know why I was picked.”

Cheektowaga police tell News 4 they are taking the allegations seriously and are currently investigating.

“The biggest thing is finding him and making sure he doesn’t do this to someone else.”

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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