Man escapes kidnapping in Hemet

HEMET – A man was beaten by several men while pumping gasoline in east Hemet early today, Dec. 29 and placed inside the trunk of his compact car and driven off to Highway 74 where he later escaped, a sheriff’s sergeant said.

The injured victim, who was identified as a man in his 40s, told his story to a sheriff’s deputy after flagging him down on eastbound Highway 74 in the San Jacinto mountains, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Wallace Clear.

Three or four suspects approached the victim who was filling up his 1997 four-door Suzuki Esteem at a gas station near Florida and New Chicago avenues at about 5:30 a.m.

While at the gas pumps, the suspects suddenly beat the victim, stuffed him inside his trunk and drove the car to an unknown location, Clear said.

The suspects removed the victim and beat him a second time before putting him back inside the trunk. The Suzuki stopped along Highway 74 where the victim jumped out and hid from his kidnappers, Clear said.

The kidnappers remained at large today as the car was later recovered.

The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment, Clear said.

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