Alabama police seen rescuing kidnapped woman held at knifepoint by California man in dramatic footage

Sean Sanders, 51, had abducted the woman and shoved her into his white van, which had chained doors and a cage at the back.

                            Alabama police seen rescuing kidnapped woman held at knifepoint by California man in dramatic footage
Sean Sanders (Source: Brookside Police Department)

BROOKSIDE, ALABAMA: A California man has been arrested and charged in Alabama following a dramatic standoff with police after he kidnapped a woman at knifepoint and forced her into the back of a white van that had chained doors and a cage in the back.

The incident unfolded this past Sunday, December 29, in Brookside, Alabama, after a witness called the police to report they had seen a man later identified as Sean Sanders kidnapping a woman at knifepoint, according to Fox8

The witness told the dispatcher the victim was bleeding from the head and face and was screaming, "Help! He's going to kill me!" as she was being shoved into the van before describing the vehicle, the direction it was heading, and a tag number.

Brookside Police Department patrol units spotted the vehicle passing by a local church and tried to stop it, only for Sanders, 51, to speed away from the scene. Following a pursuit, the van was blocked at Mt. Olive Road, where officers noticed the injured victim being held against her will and being shoved onto the floorboard by Sanders.

They conducted a rolling roadblock and barricaded the van, though Sanders still reportedly tried to run over a police officer in a bid to escape. During the next 35 minutes, officers tried to negotiate with Sanders as he held the screaming victim at knifepoint at the back of the vehicle.

"The suspect was demanding the officers kill him. Fearing immediate danger to the victim, Brookside tactical officers (breached) the rear of the suspect vehicle, tased the suspect and made entry into the front of the vehicle to engage the suspect," police said.

Bodycam footage captured the moment of deputies rescuing the victim and taking her out from the back of the van, which had wire cages over the windows, blankets covering the inside, and doors chained shut. 

The victim was found to have suffered cuts to the head and face and was hospitalized in stable condition. Two Brookside officers also suffered minor injuries during Sanders' arrest and were treated at the scene.

Sanders has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of attempted murder, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal trespassing, attempting to elude, and three counts of second-degree criminal mischief.

Authorities said Sanders cooperated with their investigation and admitted to all the charges, including taking the victim against her will. He also admitted to assaulting her in graphic detail and said he "tried to run over a police officer and continued the standoff with police because he wanted the officers to kill him."

He is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail on a $191,000 bond and has reportedly asked for the death penalty.

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