Driver Alerts Officer to Alleged Kidnapping After Committing Traffic Violation to Get Pulled Over, Police Say

A man was allegedly being held hostage by three others when police pulled over a vehicle in Florida

getting pulled over by the police for speeding
Photo: File: Getty

Three men have been arrested and face kidnapping and other charges in Florida after another man "intentionally committed a traffic infraction" while driving to alert authorities that he was in danger, according to police.

In a Facebook post, the Martin County Sheriff's Department recounted the events that led to the arrests of Tsdekiel Sellers, 22, of Atlanta, 25-year old Benyahveen Radcliffe of Buffalo, and 22-year old Kashaveeyah Bragdon of Tallahassee.

An unnamed man, who according to the sheriff's office "boasted" about his dog breeding business online, was allegedly confronted at his home by the three men who "demanded he hand over the large amounts of cash" that he'd bragged about on social media.

Richard Del Toro, assistant chief of police for the Port St. Lucie Police Department, told PEOPLE that the three suspects first made contact with the man the day before the alleged kidnapping, on June 14, when they pulled up to his home and asked for directions to a liquor store.

The man spoke with the men about his dog breeding business that day, Del Toro said, including about an Instagram account which apparently showed images of cash and dogs.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

After one of the three suspects asked to use the bathroom behind the man's home, the alleged victim agreed, before he was alerted by another person inside the house that the man allegedly tried to enter, according to Del Toro. The suspect denied he tried to enter the home and the group left.

Del Toro told PEOPLE that the following day, June 15, an alleged home invasion and kidnapping took place when the three suspects returned to the home and forced entry. Del Toro said the men allegedly held the victim at gunpoint as well as with a knife and threatened his life.

The three suspects then allegedly took the man to a hotel and checked in. Del Toro said that when signing the hotel receipt, the unnamed victim wrote, "call 911," on the paper, though the attendant did not notice the message.

Around 8:30 p.m., according to Del Toro, the four began driving south, to find puppies the dog breeder said were at the home of a relative, The Washington Post reports.

While driving, the alleged kidnapping victim was able to get a police officer's attention when he "intentionally committed a traffic infraction in hopes of being pulled over," the Facebook statement says. "It worked."

"Once stopped, the victim who was afraid to say he was being kidnapped had a look of despair when the deputy gave him a warning and started to send him on his way," the Facebook post explains. "The victim then used a hand motion in hopes that the deputy would pick up on his fear. The deputy did, and ordered the man to step away from the car and away from the three other men who were sitting inside the vehicle. Once hearing the victim's story, the three suspects were placed into custody and the Port St. Lucie Police Department was called in."

Del Toro said that the victim made a "shooting gesture with his hand" behind his back as he walked back to his car after the initial stop to indicate to the deputy that he was in danger.

Detectives were able to verify the man's account, according to the sheriff's department.

Sellers, Radcliffe and Bragdon of Tallahassee were arrested by the Martin County Sheriff's Office along with Port St. Lucie Police Department on multiple charges including kidnapping, carjacking, armed burglary and home invasion, according to the sheriff's department.

Del Toro said that though two of the suspects have declined to speak with detectives, one suspect has explained his version of events, which "pretty much corroborated" the story from the victim.

Del Toro said that while he does not know of any injuries the victim is dealing with, he called the experience "traumatic."

RSellers's bond was set at $2.55 million, Radcliffe's at $2.2 million and Bragdon's at $700,000, a sheriff's deputy at the county jail told the Post. It's not clear when the suspects are due in court.

Related Articles