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DoorDash driver in Tampa is kidnapped and sexually battered by a man before she is rescued by family members, police say

<i>Images-USA/Alamy Stock Photo</i><br/>Police in Tampa
Alamy Stock Photo
Images-USA/Alamy Stock Photo
Police in Tampa

By Rebekah Riess and Raja Razek, CNN

A woman delivering for DoorDash in Florida was attacked and kidnapped before being rescued by her family members, police say, and a male suspect has been arrested.

The driver was trying to make a delivery to the Residence Inn in Tampa at night on April 18 when she was approached by an armed man — identified as 38-year-old Joseph Killins — who forced her back into her car at gunpoint and made her drive to another location more than 6 miles away, where he sexually battered her, the Tampa Police Department said in a news release.

When the man first confronted the delivery driver, the victim had her AirPods in her ears and was on the phone with her girlfriend, who realized a robbery was taking place, police said in their initial news release. Family members then called police, and officers were dispatched to the hotel.

The victim’s family, who had been tracking her phone, arrived at her location and rescued her from the car, authorities said.

The suspect “responded by firing multiple times, with one shot striking a family member of the victim’s girlfriend, a female in her 20s, before fleeing the scene,” Tampa police said in a news release.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

The next morning, Killins allegedly threw a woman to the ground at an apartment complex, punched her and stole her backpack, according to Tampa police.

Detectives investigating the alleged robbery were led to Killins’ location at the Tampa Inn and “items related to the April 18 investigation were recovered,” police said.

Killins was then arrested late Friday night and charged with the DoorDash delivery driver’s kidnapping and battery, among others.

“This criminal is now off the streets thanks to the tireless efforts of every Tampa Police Department employee and the assistance provided by members of our community,” Interim Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said. “My thoughts remain with the victims. I hope this arrest brings them a sense of comfort knowing that he will now face justice for the crimes he chose to commit.”

Killins was charged with armed kidnapping, robbery with a firearm, armed sexual battery and aggravated battery with a weapon in the April 18 incident, authorities said. He also faces another robbery charge for the April 19 incident, according to police.

“We are appalled by this heinous and abhorrent crime,” DoorDash spokesperson Julian Crowley said in a statement. “No one should ever have to endure something as horrific as this and we’re here to support the Dasher in any way we can. We’re grateful to Tampa Police for their work to hold the perpetrator accountable and we strongly hope justice is served.”

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