Tuscaloosa woman escapes from kidnapper in Luverne

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A woman and her two small children were transported to safety after she escaped from her alleged kidnapper at the Circle A Texaco in Luverne early last Thursday morning.

Michael Wayne Alford, 21, of Coker, Ala., was charged with three counts of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree theft after he was apprehended the next day in Florala.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton said that Alford used a knife to force the woman and her two children into her vehicle at a Shell gas station off of U.S. Highway 82 that Wednesday afternoon.

Sexton said that Alford then forced the woman to drive him to DeFuniak Springs, Fla., and then back to Montgomery.

They were headed back to DeFuniak Springs when they stopped at the Circle A Texaco Station on Highway 331.

The woman managed to get the knife away from Alford and then had her children to run inside the store, according to a report filed by the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office. Alford then took the car and left the scene.

Janet Leigh, Victims’ Service Officer with the Luverne Police Department, said that she transported the victim and her children to safety.

&uot;She was stranded with her two small children since he had stolen the car,&uot; Leigh said. &uot;This is a prime example of how important it is to have victim service officers in the area.&uot;

These services are supported with funds from the Victim Services in Rural Law Enforcement Grant, which was awarded through the Alabama Attorney General’s office.