A Plainfield man is facing several felony charges after allegedly attempting to abduct a woman at knifepoint as she got into her vehicle early Tuesday morning in the 16300 block of Fairfield Drive, police said.
Erin E. Johnson, 19, of 16941 Plainsman Circle is charged with kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery, aggravated battery and aggravated assault.
Sgt. Mike Fisher said the victim was getting into her car around 4:22 a.m. when Johnson attempted to push her into the passenger seat of the vehicle.
“It appeared to be his intent to take her and the vehicle,” Fisher said. “She was warming up her car to go to work, and he came up to her and got in her face and was pushing her into the passenger seat.”
Fisher said the woman struggled with her attacker, who fled when a neighbor heard the commotion and intervened. The victim suffered minor injuries in the attack, police said.
“Her neighbor did a great job,” Fisher said. “He knew something was going on and he got involved and probably averted her from getting injured any further.”
In a press release, Sgt. Kevin McQuaid said police gathered evidence from the scene and began an “extensive manhunt,” using both the Plainfield and Joliet police K-9 units to track.
Fisher said having two K-9 units on hand helped speed up the search, allowing police to let one dog to rest while using the other to track the suspect.
Johnson was located at around 6 a.m. in the backyard of a home on Plainsman Circle, police said. He was booked into the Will County jail and is due in court Wednesday afternoon.
Fisher said the dogs tracked Johnson through a wooded area and farm field back to his own neighborhood.
Without elaborating, Fisher said events that occured Monday evening gave police a clue that Johnson may have been involved in the attempted kidnapping.
Noting that Johnson is well known to police, Fisher said “key evidence” left at the scene gave police an idea of which direction he may have been heading. He declined to specify what evidence was found, citing an ongoing investigation.
According to Fisher, police believe the attempted hijacking was a crime of opportunity and don’t think Johnson targeted the victim.
He praised the woman’s neighbor for getting involved, adding that the victim’s screams prompted several residents of the neighborhood to call 911.
“This guy did the right thing,” Fisher said. “He got involved just the right amount to prevent her from getting more injured and not get hurt himself.
" ... She's pretty shaken up," Fisher said of the victim, adding one precaution residents can take to protect themselves is to try to be aware of their surroundings.
"Watch what's going on," he said. "And watch out for your neighbors."