Authorities have arrested a suspect who allegedly strangled and attempted to abduct a University of Virginia student on Wednesday after an extensive search that lasted overnight.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old James Allen of Suffolk, Virginia, faces felony charges in the state for abduction and strangulation, Charlottesville police said after his arrest Thursday afternoon.
Allen allegedly fled the scene of a car crash near the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Wednesday night, where responding officers found a female student who reported that a man had strangled and abducted her, according to Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis. Officers initially responded around 9:40 p.m. to a call reporting “a disorder,” in an area just off school grounds, which “resulted in multiple vehicles and trees being struck by a suspect vehicle,” Kochis said at a news conference.
The student was treated for injuries at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and her condition was stable as of Thursday, according to police. They do not believe the suspect and the student knew each other prior to the alleged abduction.
Charlottesville police partnered with state and federal law enforcement agencies and used air support as well as police K-9s to search for Allen, after identifying him as a suspect early on in the investigation, Kochis said, noting that the Virginia State Police, U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation were all involved. He thanked members of the public for the flood of attention paid to a Facebook post shared to the Charlottesville Police Department’s page late Wednesday, which identified Allen and asked for help locating him.
Kochis declined to share details about the vehicle incident on Wednesday night or how the suspect was eventually found on Thursday afternoon. The police chief said Allen was arrested just after 12 p.m. in Louisa County, which is about 40 miles from the University of Virginia.