Woman's 7-hour abduction ordeal ends peacefully in Coral Springs

Victim grabbed at gunpoint

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.-- The armed abduction of a woman in Deerfield Beach ended peacefully about seven hours later with a SWAT team surrounding an apartment complex in Coral Springs late Monday.

It started with two women being confronted at gunpoint around 1 p.m. at the Amadeo Trinchitella Clinic, 916 SW 15th St., according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The clinic is commonly known as the Deerfield Beach High School Health Center, BSO said.

Both women were arriving to work at the clinic when Vinson Jerome Rattray Jr., 32, surprised them in a rear parking lot, Broward Sheriff's spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said.

One woman escaped immediately but Latonya Peak, 28, was forced to drive off with the gunman, officials said.

Peak has worked at the clinic for six years. Rattray was described only as a former patient who was known to the staff at the clinic.

He had no romantic involvement with either of the women, Wright said, but he got who he wanted.

"We believe at this time the gunman took the victim he was intending to take," she said. "This is not a stranger abduction."

Peak considered Rattray a stalker, having received numerous e-mails and phone calls from him. It got so bad she changed her phone number, detectives said.

By 6:15 p.m., Wright was before the news media urging the gunman to surrender.

Rattray's vehicle was later found at an apartment complex at 3331 Coral Hills Drive in Coral Springs and investigators zeroed in on Apartment 11 after someone saw Rattray taking Peak inside, the Sheriff's Office said by email early Tuesday.

About two hours later, Coral Springs Police were loading Rattray, another man and Peak in separate patrol cars and driving them to police headquarters for questioning, Wright said.

"The Coral Springs SWAT team negotiated a safe surrender," she said.

All three people were taken to the Coral Springs Police Department to give statements before Rattray was taken to jail, the Sheriff's Office.

The agency also said investigators recovered the gun Rattray had from a canal behind the apartment complex.

Additionally, the role of the man who lived inside Apartment 11, where the saga ended, was still being investigated.

Rattray has a criminal record mostly for drug arrests and convictions, records showed.

The clinic is a walk-in health facility associated with Broward Health hospital system. Some employees, several administrators and the brother and mother of the abducted woman went to the scene while investigators gathered evidence in the area.

Crime scene investigators also impounded the abducted woman's car to collect more evidence.

 

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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