David Reid told police that a man put a gun to his head and
forced him to drive nearly 300 miles from Alabama to Louisiana on Wednesday,
Reid, an OOIDA member from Gordo, AL, told Land Line
that he was at a highway rest stop on Interstate 20/59 near Brookwood, AL, at about 10 a.m. when a man approached him from between two trailers and put a handgun
to his head.
Reid thought the man was going to steal his truck, but
instead Reid was told to drive. Along the way, Reid said the man carried a
knapsack in his lap and made several cell phone calls while ensuring Reid's
phone was turned off.
The pair eventually made it the 300 miles to Slidell, LA, where Reid said the man left the truck and got into another vehicle.
Reid, 51, has told police departments in Slidell and Tuscaloosa, AL, about the kidnapping but was disappointed with their responses. The
police wouldn't take down his information for a report, Reid said, so he drove
back to Tuscaloosa and talked with investigators Monday.
Tuscaloosa detectives are "actively investigating" Reid's
report but hadn't made any arrests, Lt. Steven Anderson, a department
spokesman, told Land Line.
"We are soliciting information from people that may have
been in the area at the time and may have seen (the suspect)," Anderson said.
Tuscaloosa police are asking anyone who may have seen the
man around the rest stop at Interstate 20/59 near Brookwood, AL, to contact them
at (205) 349-2121. The
suspect is described as a black male with black hair, about 5 feet 10 inches
tall and weighing 200 pounds. Reid told police he was wearing gloves and all
black clothing when last seen, Anderson said.
Reid told Land Line that he didn't expect police to
find the man soon.
"I think it will be hard to catch him unless he winds up
committing another crime," Reid said. "Finding this guy is going to be like
finding a needle in a haystack."
Last week's incident wasn't the first time Reid said he's
been a victim.
Someone stole his load once after piping gas into his cab
and taking his load in Pennsylvania, Reid said, and he's been robbed two other
times as well.
Reid said he'll be more cautious when he's outside his cab,
and said truckers and other motorists should try to avoid rest areas.
"The only thing I can tell them is to watch their
surroundings and watch where they're at every time they're out of their truck,"
Reid said. "Keep to themselves and stay away from people."
- By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
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