Suspect Charged After Girl Helps Find Man in Car Trunk

March 8, 2019 Updated: March 8, 2019

IRVINGTON, N.J.—A suspect has been charged with robbery and kidnapping a day after a girl walking her dog heard a man screaming from the trunk of a car and helped rescue him.

Kayla Rose, 17, was walking her dog before going to school on March 7 when she heard “knocking and scratching” coming from the trunk of a black Nissan parked on her block.

“I moved closer and said, ‘Hello?’” Rose told the New York Post. She heard a man reply, “Hello? I need some help!”

Rose sprinted to the home of her neighbor and they called the police.

The neighbor, Joe Bollaro, 70, tried getting the man out of the car with a crowbar but was forced to wait until the police arrived.

“I asked if he could breathe,” said Bollaro. “He said he could. I told him, ‘Hang on, the police and fire department are on the way.”

Firefighters jimmied open the car door and folded down the rear car seat, sliding the man—who was bound with duct tape—out.

“His face was all smashed up,” Bollaro said. “He said they hit him. They had him tied up, his hands. The firemen had to cut him loose.”

JaVohn Berrouet was arrested at his Irvington, New Jersey, home Thursday night.

The Union County prosecutor’s office says investigators recovered a ski mask and .45-caliber handgun from the 24-year-old’s residence.

Police say two armed men kidnapped the victim around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hillside, near Newark, and forced him to withdraw cash from ATMs.

A woman uses an ATM at a Bank of America branch
A woman uses an ATM at a Bank of America branch in Washington, on Feb. 3, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The girl came upon the victim after hearing his screams from a trunk on Thursday morning.

Berrouet is charged with carjacking, kidnapping, robbery and weapons offenses. He was being held at Union County Jail pending an initial court appearance.

Attorney information could not be found for Berrouet.