Two Teens Help Rescue Kidnapping Victim

Dramatic 911 call released in Dallas kidnapping case

By Scott Gordon
|  Thursday, Sep 5, 2013  |  Updated 9:24 AM CDT
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Police rescued an abducted woman after two teenagers called 911. Aaron Arias, 19, left, and Jamal Harris saw her mouthing

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

Police rescued an abducted woman after two teenagers called 911. Aaron Arias, 19, left, and Jamal Harris saw her mouthing "help me" from the backseat of a car.

A woman who was kidnapped and forced into her car by a gunman in downtown Dallas two weeks ago managed to get the attention of two teenagers in a nearby car by mouthing the words, "Help me," according to a dramatic 911 call released Wednesday.

The teens called police and officers rescued the woman within minutes. The 911 tape of the incident and a video recording from a sheriff's deputy's dashboard camera were released Wednesday after NBC 5 filed an open records request.

"Yes, I'm on the highway," Aaron Arias first told a Kaufman County Sheriff's Office dispatcher. "I'm witnessing a robbery; not a robbery -- a kidnapping."

Arias, a 19-year-old college student, and Jamal Harris, 17, a Seagoville high school student, noticed the woman in the back seat of a car at a stoplight in Seagoville.

"It's me and another guy, so we're checking out the girl in the backseat because, we're like, 'OK, she's kind of attractive,'" Arias said. "And then, all of the sudden, you know, the guy is turned back, looking at us."

The woman, 25, was kidnapped on Aug. 22 near Bryan Street after she left a downtown office building.  About an hour later, from the backseat of her car, she drew the attention of Arias and Harris.

The woman looked panicked and was "saying, 'Help me,' or something, whispering it," Arias told the 911 operator.

The teens followed the woman's car down U.S. 175 until police caught up with them in Kaufman.

"Oh my God, I'm hoping the car behind me is a police officer," Arias said. "Nope, it's not. Oh my God."

But within seconds, officers arrived and pulled over the car with the woman and the man accused of kidnapping her.

"Thank God. You guys are awesome," Arias said. "Oh my God. Oh my God. Get him! Oh my God."

The suspect, Charles Atkins Lewis Jr., remains in jail on $50,000 bond. He is charged with aggravated kidnapping.

The woman was checked by paramedics but was unhurt.

Arias, a freshman at Texas A&M in Texarkana, ironically got a tattoo of the comic book antihero Deadpool the day before, he said in a telephone interview.

Arias said he met the woman at the scene after the rescue.

"She hugs us," he remembered. "I would describe it as the best hug I have ever gotten."

He said he hopes to stay in contact with the woman but doesn't want to interfere with the investigation or court case.

Asked whether he considered himself a hero, he said, "She says we saved her life. I guess you could say we did. But I don't want to be that person who says they're a hero."

Editor's Note: The original version of this story said the woman was kidnapped Aug. 25. The date should have read Aug. 22.  We regret the error.

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