BANNING (CBSLA.com) — A veteran car salesman said he was kidnapped by a woman during a routine test drive in Banning on Tuesday.
Edgar Guardado said he was allegedly taken by Courtney Hulbert, 34, after he tried to close a deal for a Kia sedan at the Auto Source Used Car Dealership.
Police said the woman drove to a Wells Fargo bank with Guardado to pick up cash to buy the car.
However, when the teller told Hulbert she didn’t have enough money, she insisted on driving the car back to the lot.
“Instead of coming to the lot (of the dealership), she went straight to the freeway towards Arizona,” said Guardado.
The salesman said Hulbert, who was driving as fast as 95 miles per hour, was on the phone during the incident.
Guardado said he was worried she was talking to an accomplice that might hurt him.
“My body started shaking. I didn’t know if she had a gun on her,” he said.
Within five minutes of the ordeal, the suspected kidnapper was forced to stop her vehicle when another car cut in front of her.
“She stopped for two seconds. I just grabbed the door handle and pulled, and I put one foot on the floor. As soon as I put the second foot (down), she took off like crazy,” Guardado said.
He called for help right away, but it took police nearly 30 minutes to find him because he was so far off the highway.
Guardado said the ordeal changed the way he approaches a test drive with customers, which he has been doing for 20 years.
“Whatever happened to me yesterday, it comes back to me. And my body starts shaking. It’s like, I’m very afraid,” he said.
Police later arrested Hulbert outside a K-Mart store in Desert Hot Springs after they traced her bank card activities there.
Authorities said she had her child with her even though she lost custody.