A kidnapped woman was rescued in Maryland on Friday night after police discovered her naked inside a U-Haul truck during a traffic stop, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as 62-year-old Dennis Bell, approached the victim at a convenience store on Minnesota Avenue Southeast in Washington, D.C., earlier that morning, Maryland State Police said.
“The victim told police that Bell pushed her into the U-Haul truck and threatened her life if she did not comply with his demands,” police said in a news release.
Bell forced the victim to sit on the floorboard in the front seat as he drove around “all day,” police said.
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“The victim reported that while in Bell’s truck, he removed her clothing and used a pocketknife to stab her fingers,” the release stated. “The victim informed police that she did not know where she was throughout the day while Bell continued to drive.”
Just before 10 p.m., police said troopers received multiple calls about a U-Haul truck driving erratically and striking multiple parked vehicles in Lanham.
Police attempted to stop the truck but the driver refused to pull over, according to authorities. The vehicle eventually came to a stop after crashing into a ditch.
Two troopers approached the truck’s passenger side and demanded Bell exit the vehicle but he again refused, the release stated.
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When the troopers accessed the truck through the passenger window, they discovered the victim, without clothes and with wounds on her fingers, sitting on the floorboard of the front seat.
The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Bell faces nearly two dozen traffic charges and a slew of criminal charges, including first degree assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, fourth degree sex offense, possession of suspected crack cocaine, and driving while impaired.
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Bell is currently being held at the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections.
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