Trucker tells police he was forced to drive 300 miles at gunpoint

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 3/28/2007

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, March 21.

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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