Man admits to kidnapping woman from Cheektowaga driveway

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man could spend five years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping a woman from her driveway on George Urban Boulevard.

Early in the morning on March 2, a 26-year-old victim was taken from her driveway on George Urban Boulevard after getting out of her car, the Erie County District Attorney’s office said. She had been returning from a bar in downtown Buffalo.

The suspect, identified as Abel Gebrehawaria, 24, attacked her and dragged her towards a parked SUV on the street, according to the DA’s office.

‘I’m being kidnapped’: Cheektowaga woman recounts terrifying moments of almost being taken from her driveway

After Gebrehawaria allegedly pushed the victim into the back seat of the vehicle and started driving away, the woman was able to grab the steering wheel and caused the vehicle to drive onto the curb, the DA’s office said.

The woman told News 4 she ran from the vehicle and the driver sped off.

Gebrehawaria, a Buffalo resident who was not previously known to Cheektowaga police, was later indicted on a charge of second-degree kidnapping. Originally, he was facing the possibility of 25 years in prison.

“This is an extremely rare occurrence,” Acting District Attorney Michael Keane previously said of the case.

In addition to the possibility of prison, Gebrehawaria could also spend five years under post-release supervision when sentenced.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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