CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man has been arrested and charged for a Charlotte kidnapping that was recorded on a video doorbell early Wednesday morning.
Louis Lamontrez Meadows, 32, and the victim, who is not being publicly identified, were located Thursday, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The female victim has been transported by police to a safe location.
Investigators have determined Meadows and the victim knew each other and believe this was a domestic violence situation.
Meadows, who also had outstanding arrest warrants on other charges, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault on a female. He is expected in court on Friday
Investigators credit information from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and community assistance with helping to both identify and locate Meadows and the victim.
Police began asking for community tips Wednesday after a homeowner in the east Charlotte neighborhood discovered the video recorded by their Ring camera.
"[It's] scary! Scary, because I don't know what's going on," the owner of the video doorbell, who did not want to be publicly identified, told WCNC Charlotte's Hunter Sáenz Wednesday.
When she looked on her Ring application, she was horrified at what she saw and immediately called the police.
“It is a violent attack," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Captain Joel McNelly said during a news conference on Wednesday explaining why police released the disturbing video. "It is imperative that people see this and help identify the people."
The victim disappeared from the Sheffield Park neighborhood, located near the interchange of Independence Parkway / US 74 and Albemarle Road. On Thursday, it was not immediately known if Meadows or the victim had any connection to the neighborhood. CMPD said there's no connection between the pair and the people who lived at the home where the video was captured.
Due to the graphic nature of the video, WCNC Charlotte has decided to no longer show the video now that the victim has been located.
In the video, the victim can be seen banging on the door for help, then quickly thrown to the ground by the man later identified by police as Meadows. Police said Meadows threw multiple punches before dragging his victim towards an awaiting car.
"Detectives believe that the victim has sustained injuries that need immediate medical treatment due to this assault and kidnapping," CMPD said in their initial release of the video.
Domestic violence resources
Anti-domestic violence advocates say in dangerous situations like this, oftentimes the hardest part is attempting to get away.
“The most serious time and lethal time is when victims are trying to leave," Denise Davis, director of domestic violence services at Turning Point, Inc., said. "The abusers are losing that control and they don’t want to lose that control.”
Instead, she said victims can reclaim their independence with a plan. That includes gathering all important documents, saving up some cash, and seeking the resources that can offer help.
“Get in a safe place," Davis said. "It can be a doctor's office, it could be a grocery store -- whenever they get a chance to get away, that’s the time to make the call.”
These 24/7 hotline numbers are available for victims to call:
The investigation is ongoing. The public can leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/
Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.
WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.
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