A 24-year-old woman testified Monday in Saratoga County Court that she told her kidnapper last summer to “kill me and get it over with” after she was abducted from a Saratoga Springs street.
The woman was on the stand in the second day of the trial of Victor Hernandez-Perez, 23, who has been indicted on 15 charges, including kidnapping, assault and robbery.
The woman said she was talking on a cellphone on Walnut Street the evening of July 23 when she received a blow to the head that knocked her to the street and made her drop her phone and her purse.
“I was dazed and I could see someone standing over me,” she said. “I saw someone pointing a gun at me and I remember saying, ‘Take my stuff, you can have my stuff.’ I thought I was being robbed.”
She said she can’t remember how she got into the back seat of a van, but she became aware she was being driven out of Saratoga Springs and onto roads in Greenfield that had fewer and fewer houses.
She said it was Hernandez-Perez who drove the van and pointed a handgun at her and demanded she strip all her clothes off as she begged for him to stop and let her go.
Hernandez-Perez is a citizen of El Salvador who was living and working in Saratoga County illegally last summer, according to police.
“I told him I’m a nice person. I said I was a nice girl and if he let me go, no one would ever know [he had taken me],” the woman said. “I told him I could help him because I had helped other people.”
She said he told her he was going to rape and kill her and that she would never see her family again.
“He asked me if I’d ever seen a crazy person, and when I said no, he said, ‘You’re going to see one tonight,’ ” she testified before Judge Jerry Scarano and a jury.
The woman said she could see her cellphone on the dashboard of the van and it was lighting up, indicating that someone was calling.
“I told him it was my boyfriend calling and I asked him to let me tell him I’d be OK and then he would stop calling,” she said. “I was begging him to let me go.”
The woman broke down crying in the courtroom and asked for five minutes to compose herself, which Scarano allowed. When court resumed, the woman said she had looked and felt on the floor of the van for something to defend herself with, but when she noticed the houses on the road were very far apart, she decided to jump to the front seat and out of the passenger door of the moving vehicle. The back-seat door was locked with a child lock controlled by the driver.
“I told him if he was going to kill me he should just do it and get it over with,” she said.
After jumping from the vehicle, scraping her legs in the process, she ran through woods. Looking over her shoulder she saw the van had stopped and her kidnapper was pointing the gun at her.
“I heard pops of a gun and I thought they were bullets that had just missed me,” she said.
Hernandez-Perez’s attorney, Fred Rench, said the gun was a BB gun, and no bullets were fired in the incident.
The woman said she ran to a house and went inside, where the residents called police and other rescue personnel to help her.
During cross-examination, Rench asked the woman if she had required extensive treatment or a stay at Saratoga Hospital after the incident.
She said she was examined but did not require stitches or a stay in the hospital. She said her scabs and bruises healed within a couple of weeks, but she is still suffering mentally.
Rench told jurors in his opening statement Friday that Hernandez-Perez had not committed a robbery. On Monday he asked the woman if his client had demanded her purse or other property.
“No,” she said. “I left it behind because I didn’t have time to take it with me.”
The trial will continue this morning.