Got them: Two prison escapees arrested in Florida after kidnapping highway worker and stealing his truck

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POMPANO BEACH, FL – Two escaped inmates from a Tennessee prison who allegedly kidnapped a Kentucky highway worker and tied-up another man were arrested in Florida on December 13. 

Robert Brown and Christopher Osteen escaped from the Northwest Correctional Complex in Lake County, Tennessee, on December 11. 

Records indicate that 36-year-old Brown was serving an 18-year sentence for aggravated rape, while 34-year-old Osteen was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary.

Robert Brown mugshot
Robert Brown – Tennessee Department of Corrections

After the duo escaped the correctional facility, they reportedly kidnapped a highway worker in Fulton County, Kentucky for a period of time, using the victim’s truck. 

Christopher Osteen mugshot
Christopher Osteen – Tennessee Department of Corrections

Authorities later found the kidnapping victim and his truck in Henry County, with the victim reportedly uninjured.

On December 12, authorities made contact with a man in Henry County who reportedly encountered the prison escapees. The man said the victim had been tied-up inside his own home by the prison inmates. 

Police say that Brown and Osteen had stolen the man’s truck, which was later recovered in Florida. Details of how authorities caught on to the duo are not clear, but they reportedly found them in Pompano Beach, Florida on December 13. 

Both Brown and Osteen are expected to face serious charges related to the escape, alleged kidnapping, and other crimes purportedly committed while on the short-lived lam. 

Officials have yet to detail precisely how the two managed to escape the prison. Once that information becomes available, we at Law Enforcement Today will provide that update. 

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Horror: Woman jumps from the trunk of a moving car to escape kidnappers

November 25, 2020

 

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, NC – A 38-year-old North Carolina woman is recovering from injuries sustained after she broke the lock on a car trunk and leapt out of the car the kidnappers were driving. She hit the ground as the car sped down U.S. Highway 220.

The local sheriff’s department gave a statement on the event:

“Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and located the victim, Kristen Robinson, 38, in the roadway of US Hwy. 220 with severe injuries. The victim was transported to a triad area hospital for treatment of her injuries.

“Investigators believe three (3) individuals entered Robinson’s room at the Budget Inn, assaulted her and placed her in the trunk of their vehicle. After the vehicle had traveled about 200 yards, Robinson was able to open the trunk and jumped from the vehicle, which was moving at a high speed at that time.”

There’s a little more to this unusual story, as reported to Winston-Salem’s WFMY. A motel employee who witnessed the incident told police that the three suspects showed up at the motel in a car.

They asked the employee to knock on the victim’s door, pretending to be room service. When the employee refused to do so, they told her that Robinson stole from them and it was their “payback time.”

The witness said she heard the victim hollering for help after the suspects entered the room. They dragged Robinson out of the room and threw her in the trunk. The employee immediately called the police. A driver who was on the highway also called 911 when he saw the injured woman on the road.

Officers have now arrested two out of the three suspects in the kidnapping – 21-year-old Takiyah Kenyhata Broadnax and an unnamed juvenile were both charged with first degree kidnapping, breaking and entering, and assault inflicting serious injury.

Broadnax is being held at the Rockingham County Detention Center and was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1.  Broadnax was given a $500,000 secured bond for the kidnapping incident and a separate $7,500 secured bond for violating probation. 

The juvenile, who was not identified, was charged under the same sections and placed in a juvenile detention center. The juvenile received a $250,000 secured bond for the kidnapping case and a $7,500 secured bond for violating probation.

In another story of bravery involving a kidnapping, two teen girls abducted at gunpoint in Louisiana were able to fight off their attacker by causing a car crash.

The unidentified girls, ages 14 and 15, were walking back from a Dollar General store in Springfield (near Hammond, north of Lake Pontchartrain) when a man in an SUV approached them Friday evening, according to news station WBRZ.

The man later identified as 39-year-old Albert Lavigne allegedly forced them at gunpoint into the vehicle, where a struggle ensued as he drove away. The teens kept grabbing the steering wheel, eventually causing the car to crash a few miles away in Tangipahoa.

What Lavigne didn’t know is that Philip Pigott, the father of the 14-year-old, was a veteran of the armed services and had trained his daughter to fight in a scenario like the one she was forced into. 

Pigott spoke to WBRZ:

“I told her if that ever happens, fight, fight, fight.” 

He also warned his daughter that if someone attempted to abduct her by putting her into a moving vehicle, she should never let them make it to the interstate, as it would be more difficult to escape. 

With her father’s advice in mind, the teen fought the man off while she was in the front passenger seat, repeatedly attempting to grab the steering wheel from him.

After fleeing the damaged SUV and grabbing at least one of their phones to take with them, the girls tracked down a few nearby good Samaritans and asked for help. The locals immediately stepped in, Pigott said, by restraining the would-be kidnapper until authorities arrived.

The 14-year-old girl reported:

“We did fight for the wheel for a while and I finally won and jerked it.  We did hit two cars in the process and me and my friend walked out, running for help and these two guys tackled the kidnapper.”

Both of the girls and the kidnapper were brought to a hospital for their injuries. Lavigne was taken into custody on outstanding warrants after he was released from the hospital. He was then transferred to the Livingston Parish Detention Center, where he was booked on two counts of second-degree kidnapping.

Pigott said his daughter collapsed after getting a concussion in the vehicle accident, but is doing well now. Her friend is in good shape too.

He added:

“This is an excellent outcome.  I’m very proud, very proud that she was able to get out of that situation like she did.”

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