Woman found in trunk after police chase in Pasadena shares her story

PASADENA – A woman spoke out Thursday night after investigators said her ex-boyfriend kidnapped her, bound her with duct tape and forced her into the trunk of a car before engaging police in a chase.

Sarah Nicole Cruz and Alexander Salas were both in jail as of Wednesday, according to online court records filed after the incident, which happened May 31. The two are now charged with aggravated kidnapping.

Joann Chapa said she was lured into hanging out with Salas — a man she had dated before — when he asked her to go to the store. 

"Overtime, I got my social security disability check, he'd come around," Chapa said.

Chapa said when she got in his car, she was attacked and tossed into the vehicle's trunk. 

"The girl grabbed my hands and the guy, behind me, tied me up with tape," she said. 

A Pasadena police officer noticed expired registration on the car Salas was driving earlier that morning. The officer pulled the vehicle over and heard screaming, according to Pasadena police spokeswoman Jessica Ramirez and dash camera video released to Channel 2.

Joann said Salas didn't have a shirt on in the video because he put it over her head before he threw Chapa in the trunk. 

According to Ramirez,  the officer heard a noise coming from the trunk while speaking to Salas.

"I heard license and registration, and I started screaming and I heard the car drive off (and) police sirens," Chapa said.  

When the officer questioned Salas, officers said he sped off, starting a police chase.

“The driver of the vehicle actually came to a dead end, at which time he bailed out of the vehicle,” Ramirez said.

Salas didn’t get far. He fell on the ground and was caught by the officer. Police also arrested Cruz, who was  a passenger in the car.  Cruz is his current girlfriend, according to police.

“You don’t come across these situations on a daily basis but we are very grateful that it turned out the way it did,” Ramirez said.

Police said Salas told them he had kidnapped his ex-girlfriend because he wanted to scare her.

"You don't do that to somebody," Chapa said.

Joann said Cruz didn't like her. She grateful to the officers who heard her screams for help and saved her.

"I was like oh my gosh," Chapa said. "He saved my life. I don't trust police officers, but I trusted them that day."