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Man accused of kidnapping two women from Gainesville Publix parking lot

Charles Green/Alachua County Jail

Gainesville Police arrested a man accused of kidnapping two women after hiding in the backseat of their vehicle while it was parked outside of a grocery store Saturday.

Investigators charged 49-year-old Charles Green with two counts of kidnapping and robbery.

Here's what happened, according to the arrest report:

Two women parked at the Publix at 1302 N. Main St. in Gainesville around and left the windows down in their vehicle because the AC doesn't work. When they came back from shopping and got inside the car around 12:20 p.m. they noticed a large man lying down in the backseat. Police say he sat up and demanded money from the women. They say he grabbed the driver by her ponytail, took her cellphone and threatened to hurt them.

The man forced the driver to take him to Xtra Beverage at 119 NE 16th Ave. He took the car keys and went inside. Police say the driver stayed in the car with the passenger who is mentally disabled.

The man got back into the car and forced the driver to drive him around some more. At one point he took $100 from the driver's purse. Eventually they stopped at the Citgo on NE 15th Street where the man made the driver back into a space in front of the business. Police say surveillance video confirms what happened next: The man got out, talked to some people outside of the store and then walked in, before realizing he left the keys in the car. Police say the driver then drove away and called police around 2:15 p.m.

Police didn't find the suspect right away. At about 10:34 p.m. they received a call that a man approached another man in the Oaks Mall parking lot and claimed his wife was in labor and needed help. The man agreed to give the suspect a ride and took him to a couple of locations but eventually dropped him off because he suspected the man was buying drugs. Police say the man was able to get another ride to SW Archer Road before they picked up Charles Green.

Police say Green admitted to being at all of the locations but claimed all of the rides were consensual.

He's being held on $55,000 bond at the Alachua County Jail.

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