Police search for man who tried to kidnap jogger in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Police are searching for an attempted kidnapping suspect in St. Petersburg.

The victim, 23-year-old Allie Coad, says she was jogging south on the sidewalk of Coffee Pot Boulevard Northeast near Snell Isle Boulevard when a driver pulled his gun on her and told her to get in the car.

“I was sprinting away thinking, this guy is going to shoot me,” said Coad. “There was no option for getting in the car, I wasn’t getting in the car.”

She says the suspect approached her just before 6 a.m. and asked her for directions.

“Rolled down his window, so I slowed my pace and he was like, I need directions to 4th street, where’s 4th street? I was like just take it to the stop sign, you’re going to go straight down 22nd and then you’ll run into 4th street,” she said. “And at that point, he pulled out a gun and he says why don’t you get in the car.”

Coad ran to the first person she saw and called for help.

“It’s a big concern,” said Yolanda Fernandez, St. Petersburg Police Department spokeswoman.

Police say they are searching for a black man with dreadlocks who was wearing a black shirt and driving a burnt orange crossover vehicle. Investigators say it could be a Toyota Scion or Mazda type vehicle.

Coad is warning others to be cautious.

“It could have happened to anyone. I hope that it just makes others aware, always be aware of your surroundings and it’s very easy to get comfortable. But it just goes to show you, you never know and always have your guard up and don’t get in the car,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 893-7780.

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