A woman kidnapped at knifepoint along with three children in Nevada was able to alert police by calling 911 and quietly speaking to dispatchers while captive in a moving vehicle, officials said.
An open-line 911 call was made to police in Mesquite, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, shortly after midnight Monday, police said in a statement.
“The distressed caller was eventually able to quietly speak to the dispatcher, stating she was inside of a vehicle and needed help, but was not able to provide many details,” police said.
Police determined the location of the caller and stopped a vehicle carrying a man, a woman and three children, officials said. Police immediately noticed signs of a crime and detained the man who was driving.
A subsequent investigation determined the suspect, Justin Junius Carter, 34, of Las Vegas, tried to stab the woman in Las Vegas and then kidnapped her and the three children at knife-point, police said.
Once in Mesquite, the woman was able to “develop a plan to call 911,” police said.
Police said that while this was not an accidental 911 pocket-dial case, it does demonstrate why police investigate those calls thoroughly.
“Dispatchers frequently receive ‘pocket dial’ or accidental 911 calls, and an officer is sent to each one of those calls to check on the caller and everybody else there,” police said. “The incident … is exactly why we make these calls a priority. Excellent work by dispatchers and officers to make that family safe!”
Mesquite Police Chief Maquade Chesley praised all the victims for keeping cool under the most trying circumstances.
“The bravery of this woman and her children cannot be overstated. They maintained their composure, and she bravely created a plan in her head to call for help as soon as she could,” Chesley said.
“I am grateful the dispatchers and officers working that night were ready to jump into action without hesitation to find and rescue these victims from such a terrifying experience. Their swift action and persistence to gather information from the 911 call saved this family from further harm.”
Carter was arrested and charged with four counts of second-degree kidnapping in violation of an extended protection order, attempted murder, domestic battery with use of a deadly weapon and attempted sexual assault, among other charges.
Carter's mother was reached by phone Friday. She declined to immediately comment because she was going to speak to Carter's attorney first and didn't want to compromise his case.