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Maryland man arrested after allegedly using U-Haul truck to kidnap woman

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BALTIMORE -- A Maryland man has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a woman in Washington, D.C., according to the Maryland State Police.

Dennis Bell, 62, of Lanham was driving a U-Haul truck at the time of the alleged kidnapping, police said.

He encountered the woman at a convenience store on Minnesota Avenue in Southeast Washington, D.C., on Friday morning, according to authorities.

The woman told officers that Bell pushed her into the U-Haul truck and threatened her life if she was not compliant, police said.

Bell allegedly drove around all day with the woman sitting on the floorboard in the front seat, according to authorities.

The woman told officers that while she was in the truck, Bell removed her clothing and used a pocketknife to stab her fingers, police said.

She said she did not know where she was throughout the day, according to authorities.

Around 9:45 p.m. on Friday, troopers from the College Park Barrack began receiving multiple calls from motorists who were reporting that a U-Haul truck was driving erratically and striking multiple parked vehicles while traveling in the area of Princess Garden Parkway in Lanham. police said.

Troopers immediately went to the area and found the U-Haul truck on Route 450 in Lanham, according to authorities.

Officers attempted a felony traffic stop on the U-Haul, but Bell refused to stop for them, police said. 

A short pursuit ensued and ended at Baltimore Avenue and Elm Street in Lanham. That's where the vehicle went into a ditch and became disabled, according to authorities. 

Two of the troopers approached the passenger side of the U-Haul to make contact with Bell who refused to exit the vehicle after multiple verbal requests, police said. 

The troopers were able to enter the U-Haul truck through the passenger side window, which is where they found the kidnapped woman, according to authorities. 

She was not wearing clothing and sitting on the floorboard in the front seat with wounds to her fingers, police said. 

Officers immediately rescued her and covered her with an agency-issued jacket. Medics took her by ambulance to the hospital, according to authorities.

Bell was uncooperative with officers and refused to identify himself, police said. 

He was arrested and then taken to a local hospital. Afterward, he was transported to the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections, according to authorities.

Bell faces 14 criminal charges, including first-degree assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, fourth-degree sex offense, possession of suspected crack cocaine and driving while impaired, police said.

Additionally, he is facing 19 traffic charges related to the incident. Bell is currently being held at the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections.

The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division is investigating the incident.

Anyone who may have witnessed the alleged kidnapping or has information relevant to the investigation should contact the Criminal Enforcement Division via email at or contact the College Park Barrack. All calls and emails may remain confidential, police said.

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