Police: Two arrested in kidnapping from Henrietta hotel
HENRIETTA, N.Y. — Two people are in jail on kidnapping and assault charges after dragging a woman from the Microtel hotel on Thursday morning according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Police took the alleged kidnappers in custody and rescued the woman, who has been taken to the hospital for treatment, after a nine-hour investigation.
Sheriff’s deputies say she was being prostituted and she was then kidnapped while trying to get help.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, at around 5:45 a.m. Thursday, a woman and a man dragged a woman from the lobby of the Microtel on Lehigh Station Road in Henrietta, taking her to a vehicle in the parking lot. Deputies investigated, including reviewing surveillance video, and identified the suspects and victim, determining that they were known to each other.
“So in the video, you see the victim, they come down to the front desk in an effort to get away from the suspect when the female suspect approaches her at the counter; there’s a physical altercation that takes place there. The victim is trying to hold on and stay in the hotel and get help,” Sgt. Dave Bolton of the Sheriff’s Office said.
“She’s ultimately dragged to the vestibule or entry door, At that point, the male suspect comes from the vehicle and assists the female suspect to carrying the victim to the vehicle. The victim is then put into the vehicle, and they drive away,” Bolton said.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit investigators, Tactical Unit deputies, and Rochester police searched for the suspects and victims. They found and stopped the vehicle — with all three inside — in the area of Joseph Avenue and Sullivan Street in the city of Rochester just after 3 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office, and the suspects were taken into custody without incident. Deputies took all three to a substation for questioning and then took the victim to Strong Memorial Hospital.
“She wasn’t going to get away. When we stopped the car, she was in the car with them. They weren’t going to let her go,” Bolton said. “Who knows what would’ve happened, but for sure she would’ve been held there against her will for a longer period of time.“
When asked if sex trafficking was involved, Bolton said, “We’re looking into that further. Certainly, the reasons she was there and with those two people is she was being prostituted.” He said the victim was not from the area and had only been here for a short time.
Charged with second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault were Cordell L. Brooks, 27, and Shuntiayana Sims, 27, both of Rochester. Arraigned in Henrietta Town Court, they are in Monroe County Jail on $100,000 cash bail, $250,000 insured bond, and $500,000 partially secured bond.
Investigators say this hotel is not known to be a hotbed for these types of crimes.
“hotels “Hotels, they often-times attract often that type of activity. It’s not unusual for us to go to a local hotel for a prostitution type of issue, but ultimately it’s a low percentage and its not any one hotel,” Bolton said.
Pranesh Patel says he has worked at the Microtel hotel for the past years.
As for the worker at the front desk seen in the video who appears not be doing much to help,
Pranesh says his co worker was afraid to jump in. But police say the clerk did call police.
Sgt. Bolton said this could have had a much worse outcome.
“The victim went to the hospital. She’s getting treated. Our victims advocate and victim services people were sent to the hospital and are dealing with her now,” Bolton said.
Bolton said the kidnapping, and the violence involved, demonstrate the serious nature of prostitution.
“This is not a victimless crime,” Bolton said. “Oftentimes we talk about prostitution as a victimless crime, and it really isn’t. And this woman was definitely a victim, and certainly a victim who was in great physical peril due to what was going on. Her life circumstance put her in a place where thais was the way she had to live. So this is what sex trafficking is, what abduction is, what kidnapping is. It’s not a victimless crime.”
News10NBC reached out to Microtel’s parent company Wyndham Hotels and Resorts for comment, but they haven’t yet gotten back to us.