Three masked gunmen terrorized a Jacksonville family after tying a mother and her five children up at gunpoint and kidnapping the husband, who jumped from the trunk of a moving car, police said Tuesday.
The pistol-whipped husband escaped further harm after being rescued by a family friend, who saw the vehicle, sounded a friendly honk and then saw him hop from the trunk.
No arrests were reported in the home invasion, which occurred about 8 p.m. Sunday in the north Jacksonville neighborhood of Lake Forest. A police report did not indicate why the gunmen may have targeted the family, including children 5 and 7.
The husband, a 35-year-old longshoreman, has only a brief criminal history of minor charges, court records show. The wife, 37, has never been arrested, the records show.
The husband couldnít be reached to comment and his wife did not return messages left on her cell phone. The Times-Union is not identifying the victims because the suspects remain at-large.
The attack occurred in the 800 block of Linda Drive. A police report released Tuesday gave this account:
A 17-year-old told police when he arrived at his home, he walked to the front and the attackers came from behind a vehicle in the driveway. One man pointed a gun to the teenís head and forced him to open the front door.
The gunmen tied up the mother and her five children who were forced to lay on the bedroom floor. The men demanded money, but were told there wasnít any.
One man pointed a gun at the womanís head and repeatedly asked when her husband would be home. The woman said she didnít know and the men tore up the house.
The husband arrived home and was thrown to the floor. At least one of the men attempted to put handcuffs on him, but could get only one on. The husband was hit in the head with a pistol and felt a sharp object thrust into his side.
The men dragged the husband outside and put him in the trunk of his wifeís car. The victim said he was able to open the trunk using a safety latch and jumped out of the car at the Lem Turner Road on-ramp to Interstate 95. The victim was trying to stop cars for help when a family friend drove up.
The friend said she had recognized the car and blew her horn as it went by. She then saw the trunk open and the man jump out. The woman began driving the man home and called 911.
Police found the man sitting on the front porch. He said he didnít know if any suspects were still inside, but police found none and untied the family.
The husband was taken to Shands Jacksonville hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.
Anyone with information should call police at 630-0500 or First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS