A 23-year-old Mountain View man reportedly kidnapped two women Sunday evening -- in two separate, terrifying, back-to-back incidents -- before being arrested in a Northern California town.
One of the kidnapped women, a 19-year-old from San Jose, intentionally crashed the vehicle she was being forced to drive on Highways 101 and 85 to escape, according to the Mountain View Police Department.
The second victim, a 61-year-old Mountain View resident, was "afraid for her life" as she was made to drive for hours through the East and North Bay areas by the alleged kidnapper, Kenneth Middlebrook, police said.
The bizarre series of events unfolded when MV officers were called at 6:30 p.m. to the 1400 block of North Shoreline Boulevard to assist California Highway Patrol with what appeared to be a hit-and-run accident, police said.
The 19-year-old female at the scene, however, claimed she was kidnapped and deliberately crashed into another car to get away, police said.
The woman told officers that earlier on Sunday, she was engaged in conversation while in the driveway of her Alviso/San Jose home, by Middlebrook, who "convinced" her to drive him -- in his vehicle -- to Mountain View, police said.
The female did not know Middlebrook, said MVPD Sgt. Saul Jaeger, but he reportedly told her his license was suspended and he needed a lift.
The woman complied and once they arrived in Mountain View, she told police that Middlebrook "became agitated" and held her against her will, police said.
The victim reportedly told Middlebrook she would "drive him anywhere he liked," and then drove to the freeway and intentionally crashed into another motorist to get away from Middlebrook, according to police.
After the woman and the other motorist pulled to the side of the road, the victim exited Middlebrook’s vehicle, a gold Nissan, and told the other motorist what happened.
Middlebrook then drove off and the other driver called 911, police said.
The arriving CHP officers initially thought the incident was a hit-and-run and moved the victim and the other involved motorist to the Computer History Museum parking lot, police said.
MVPD officers located Middlebrook’s vehicle in a nearby parking area, however, he could not be found and the department issued a bulletin to California law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, a second woman, a 61-year-old who lives in the North Shoreline area and unacquainted with Middlebrook, told Mountain View police that at 8 p.m. Sunday evening a male subject, later identified as Middlebrook, reportedly entered her home and forced her into her car, police said.
"She was afraid for her life," Jaeger said.
Middlebrook drove throughout the East and North Bay areas for hours, police said, not allowing his kidnap victim to leave.
Eventually Middlebrook stopped in the city of Ione, southeast of Sacramento, and told the victim to wait for him while he got out of the vehicle. But after a few minutes the woman drove off, leaving Middlebrook on Ione streets, and alerted authorities, police said.
The Ione Police Department located Middlebrook as he was walking on a city street and detained him until MVPD detectives arrived to take him into custody, according to officials.
Middlebrook was arrested on two counts of suspected felony kidnapping, two counts of suspected felony robbery and one count of misdemeanor battery, Jaeger said.
As for suspect Middlebrook's possible motivation for the two kidnappings, Jaeger said that is still unknown as the man gave a very limited statement during his arrest.
Middlebrook has a previous arrest record, but details were not released.
Mountain View detectives are looking for other possible victims of the suspect.
If you believe you have been a victim of a crime involving Middlebrook, contact the MVPD at (650) 903-6344 and reference case number 14-2233.