Police: Man tries to kidnap woman who ran out of gas on I-5 in Salem

Suspect in Salem attempted kidnapping case - Oregon State Police photo

SALEM, Ore. – Troopers are looking for a man who tried to kidnap a woman early Thursday morning after she ran out of gas along Interstate 5 in Salem.

The incident happened about 4 a.m. on I-5 southbound near the Market Street on-ramp.

A 20-year-old woman was waiting for her father to bring her some gas when a stranger stopped and offered to help, Oregon State Police said.

When she declined his offer, the man reportedly grabbed her arm and tried to pull her back toward his pickup truck. She managed to break free when another person slowed down and yelled out her window, offering to help.

The suspect was last seen jumping back into his pickup and speeding away.

The victim worked with a sketch artist to get a photo of her would-be kidnapper. He’s described as a white male, about 5-foot 9-inches tall, with a medium build, weighing about 200 pounds, with dark brown hair. He was wearing a dark t-shirt, jeans, and athletic shoes.

He was driving a dark blue or black standard cab 4x4 pickup that looked “beat up,” state police said.

Police are looking for any information on the suspect, and they would also like to hear from the woman that interrupted the kidnapping attempt.

KATU News spoke to Deputy Jeff Talbot with the Washington County Sheriff's Office. That agency isn't involved in the case, but Talbot shared advice on how to stay safe in a similar situation.

"Get inside your vehicle and lock your doors," said Talbot. "Err on the side of caution if you don't feel comfortable or safe. If someone comes up, you can always crack your window just a bit while the door's still locked and talk to them, at least tell them you're OK and you have a ride coming."

If you have any helpful tips, call Oregon State Police at (503) 375-3555.

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