Local woman kidnapped at knifepoint in own car escapes by crashing into cable truck

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando police say a 51-year-old woman was forced to think quickly to save her own life when a man armed with two knives suddenly jumped into her car in a grocery store parking lot.

Police say the victim had just finished loading groceries into her car at the Aldi supermarket on South Semoran Blvd. when a strange man got into the passenger seat of her car just as she sat down on the driver’s side.


READ: Orlando fire chief resigns 2 months after suspension due to arrest

The victim told police the man, later identified as 23-year-old Cesar Saenz-Erazo, held a long-bladed knife to her neck and told her he intended to rob her.

According to an arrest report for Saenz-Erazo, the woman told police he ordered her to drive anywhere he said or he’d cut her throat.

The report says when the woman missed a turn the suspect ordered, he pulled a second knife and held it to her stomach while threatening to stab her if he didn’t drive to an area where there were no people present.

According to the report, when the victim saw a Spectrum bucket truck driving towards her, she made the quick decision to intentionally crash into it with the passenger side of her car in an attempt to trap Saenz-Erazo in it. At the same time, she ran from the car and yelled for help.

READ: Police: Man killed in drive-by shooting in Eatonville

According to the report, Saenz-Erazo ran back to the car he arrived at the Aldi’s in and fled the scene, but was spotted by the Spectrum truck driver and another witness who took a picture of the temporary plate on the car, which led them to the suspect.

Neither the victim nor the truck driver were able to positively identify Saenz-Erazo in multiple photographic lineups, but the report says police were able to match clothing seen on the suspect in surveillance video from the Aldi to clothing he was seen wearing in social media posts.

Before the attack in the parking lot, police say the surveillance video also shows Saenz-Erazo walking around the store unsuccessfully trying to steal from women’s purses while they shopped.

READ: Alec Baldwin releases first statement after prop gun incident that killed cinematographer

Saenz-Erazo was arrested Thursday on multiple charges including armed kidnapping and attempted robbery. He’s being held in the Orange County jail on no bond.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.