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Northampton police foil alleged kidnapping that started in Worcester 

  • Flashing police lights



@JackSuntrup
Sunday, June 18, 2017

NORTHAMPTON — Police arrested a Worcester man Saturday afternoon after he allegedly kidnapped two people over a car sale gone bad. 

Police said Hart Sligh, 20, of Worcester, was one of four men who forced two other Worcester residents — a man and a woman — to drive to western Massachusetts to retrieve $675 from the male captive’s father.

After the Massachusetts State Police put out an alert shortly before noon Saturday for the gray Chevy Impala, a Northampton officer spotted the car leaving Interstate 91 at Exit 19, Bridge Street and Damon Road. The officer pulled the car over, arresting Sligh, who now faces two kidnapping charges.

According to Northampton police, the incident began Saturday morning when the alleged victims pulled up on Fruit Street in Worcester to drop off keys to someone they knew.

Four men then reportedly swarmed the man’s Impala. One opened the passenger door and demanded the driver, the male victim, hand over $675, police said. The man had supposedly paid the driver that money in installments since May for a car, but now wanted out of the deal.

When the driver and passenger said they weren’t getting out of the car, the man held a knife to the driver’s throat, saying he wasn’t “playing around.”

The driver said he would have to get the $675 from his dad, in Williamsburg, about 74 miles west. The driver called his dad to let him know. The father called police, prompting the alert.

Sligh and another suspect — not the knife-wielding man — initially joined the victims in the car on their way out of Worcester before the second man got out. Of the four suspects, Sligh was the only remaining by the time the Impala arrived in Northampton. 

The officer conducted the traffic stop near Elwell State Park. That is when police arrested Sligh.

There was no immediate word Sunday from the Worcester Police Department on any other arrests.

Jack Suntrup can be reached at jsuntrup@gazettenet.com.