39-year-old man booked into Livingston jail after kidnapping two teens, sheriff says
SPRINGFIELD - Parents of a teenager abducted Friday said they taught their child to fight for their life, a lesson she needed in a scary situation in Livingston Parish.
Authorities said Albert Lavigne, 39 of Hammond, kidnapped two teenage girls at gun point in Livingston Parish Friday around 5 p.m.
The parents of one of the victims said in an interview with WBRZ, Lavigne took their daughter and her 15-year-old friend from the Springfield area as the two teenagers walked to a nearby store.
The teens were snatched at gunpoint, authorities said.
Janet Waddell, a Springfield resident who witnessed the tail end of the incident told WBRZ that attempted abductions rarely occur in Springfield.
"It's a little scary," Waddell said. "I've been here for thirty-five years and nothing like this has ever happened here."
The victim's parents said the man forced the two teenagers into his vehicle. He drove them a few miles away, into Tangipahoa Parish where the two teenagers fought back.
One of the teens was able to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle and force it off the road, causing a crash. All three - the two victims and the suspect - were hurt, authorities said.
"I did fight for the wheel for a while and jerked it, and finally won," the bruised and battered yet courageous teen told WBRZ during a Saturday afternoon interview.
After the crash and amid disorientation, one of the teenagers managed to call 911, alerting authorities. Good Samaritans rendered aid, the parents said, and even held the abductor at bay until authorities arrived.
"When we crashed, me and my friend walked out, running and yelling for help. And then these two guys tackled the kidnapper," the 14-year-old added.
Her father told WBRZ, "This is an excellent outcome. I'm very happy, and very proud that she remembered to stay calm and that she and her friend got out of that situation as well as they did."
Lavigne was released from the hospital and booked into the Livingston jail Monday. He's been charged with kidnapping.
Detectives said Saturday, the incident was still under investigation and it wasn't clear if Lavigne had any connection with the girls or if the attack was random.
The two teenagers were treated at the hospital for minor injuries related to the crash.
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