Two escape kidnapper; suspect jailed

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
A kidnapping suspect was jailed this week after his alleged victims escaped and authorities were notified from a gas station near Pace.
Michael Wayne Harper, 25, of 235 Pecan St. in Evergreen, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony; two counts of kidnapping; third degree grand theft auto and one count of violation of parole - battery.
According to East Brewton Police Chief Wilson Mallard, his department received a call at approximately 2:36 a.m. on Wednesday of an alleged assault and robbery at Hart's Trailer Park. When the responding officer arrived, he learned that two females were missing.
The witness also told authorities that the suspect was going to Florida. At that point, a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) bulletin was dispatched to state and other area law enforcement agencies.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said they received the BOLO bulletin at approximately 3:04 a.m.
Authorities there said they were looking for the two females, ages 22 and 30, in a white Ford Escort with Alabama plates.
When Harper stopped at a gas station near Pace, the two females were able to escape the vehicle and run into the station where local authorities where notified by phone.
After the two women ran into the store, the clerk locked the door. When deputies arrived on the scene at 3:26 a.m., the suspect nor his vehicle could not be located.
At 3:30 a.m., SRSO Sgt. Scott Phillips located the Harper's vehicle parked on the side of another Tom Thumb located at Woodbine and Hwy. 90. Two minutes later, Phillips located Harper inside the store and placed him under arrest.
The two victims were transported to Santa Rosa Medical Center where they were treated for head and facial wounds.
Harper was transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail.
East Brewton Police Department officials said in a press release that the case is still under investigation.