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Kenlake Ranger Thwarts Kidnapping

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A park ranger at Kenlake State Resort Park at Aurora recently thwarted the apparent kidnapping and attempted rape of a passing motorist.

Ranger Chris Evans was driving on US 68 in a park ranger cruiser on June 11 when he was nearly struck by a car at an intersection. The driver then pulled in front of the cruiser and stopped in the middle of the road.

A woman emerged from the vehicle. The ranger’s report states: a white female opened the driver’s door and came running, screaming, and crying to my police car. She pleaded for help, saying a man in the car was armed with a knife and was trying to kill her.

I got out of my car and did a felony take-down of the suspect, Evans reported. Meanwhile, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, observing the incident from a nearby restaurant, arrived on the scene, searched the car and found a large hunting knife.

After everything was over, (the victim) cried and hugged me and thanked me, Evans reported.

In a subsequent interview, he said the victim had been driving around for about an hour and a half with the man holding a knife to her throat.

The suspect faces multiple felony charges, included kidnapping.

On Tuesday, the grateful woman visited the park and appeared in news interviews to thank Evans.

Evans is a three-year veteran of the parks ranger division and previously served as a long-time assistant police chief in Benton.

He shrugs off the suggestion that he is a hero. He was just doing his job, he said.

Ranger Evans performed in the highest tradition of the Department of Parks, said Parks Commissioner George Ward. His alertness and prompt action literally saved a life. We deeply appreciate his professionalism.  

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