A Hackensack car service manager abducted at knifepoint by a new employee intent on getting money signaled a teller to lock the doors of a city bank while he summoned police who caught the accused kidnapper.
Officer Pedro Dominguez was headed to the Friday afternoon call from Connect One bank on John Street when he spotted Luis Vasconez, 37, of North Bergen, on Essex Street and took him into custody, Capt. Peter Busciglio said.
The victim told police that Vasconez -- who'd recently become a trainee/dispatcher at the company -- called him Thursday asking for a loan to pay child support, Busciglio said.
Vasconez was told "it was against company policy to loan money out to
new employees," the captain said, but he returned on Friday and demanded money from the victim.
The victim said he would pay the child support with his personal credit card -- after which Vasconez pulled out a gray utility knife, Busciglio said.
“I’m 37 years old. I have nothing to lose. I’ll f---ing kill
you! I have a gun in my backpack," Vasonex said, pointing the knife at the victim as he advanced toward him, the captain said.
Fearing for his safety, the victim agreed to take Vasconez to the bank to withdraw the money.
"Don't do anything stupid," Vasconez repeatedly told him during the ride over while keeping his hand in a backpack, pretending he had a gun, Busciglio said.
Vasconez stood outside the car as the victim entered the bank and immediately told a teller that he'd been kidnapped and to lock the door, the captain said.
Then he dialed 911.
Vasconez, who lives at 7200 Tonnelle Ave., walked off but was spotted by Dominguez a short time later.
Officer Sean Briggs found the Vasconez's utility knife near a parked vehicle in the bank parking lot.
A judge later ordered that Vasconez -- who also was suspected in an assault at Hackensack University Medical Center in July 2012 -- remain held pending further court action in the Bergen County Jail.
He's charged with kidnapping, robbery, making terroristic threats and weapons possession, among other counts.
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