A Riverside County woman suffered an attempted kidnapping in broad daylight at a Hemet mall in a terrifying encounter caught on surveillance video.
The victim said she was still reeling from the horrific experience which happened just outside a Boost Mobile store, in the same location where police say a man tried to steal a van and kidnap the woman inside.
“I was always one of those people who thought something like this couldn’t happen to me, but it did,” Whitney White said.
Around 2 p.m. Monday, White was in the front passenger seat of her boyfriend’s truck.
He had just parked and entered the Boost Mobile store when White saw a man walk by.
“I looked up, and he was just looking at me that I even felt a shiver down my spine. I looked at my tablet and tried not to make eye contact,” he said. declared.
Her boyfriend had left the truck running. Seconds later, he said the man had jumped into the vehicle.
Prior to the alleged kidnapping attempt, the woman allegedly told the passenger that her baby was cute.
“I was like ‘what are you doing?’ And he said, ‘I’m going to take you home.’ “No, you won’t. My boyfriend is in the store. What are you doing? Get out.” And he was like, “I’m your boyfriend now. I’m going to take you home.” , White said.
She said she tried to get out of the truck, but the man pushed her away, so she started fighting with him as he tried to back the car up.
“I grabbed the gear stick and tried to slam it into the park. It was hitting my arms and everything was trying to get me to stop,” he said. “I was literally fighting for my life and I’m so grateful my boyfriend was here.”
Her boyfriend, Bill Palmer, saw what was happening and ran to the truck.
“So when I opened the truck I started bombarding him, I just started hitting him with everything I had to try and get him out of the truck,” he said .
But he said the thief put the car in reverse and knocked him over.
“We pulled through the parking lot, jumping through bushes, passing cars, passing people and dragging my truck, but I wasn’t going to let it go,” he said.
Seconds later, they were finally able to arrest the man and Palmer pulled him out of the truck.
“He hit (the thief’s) face first and knocked him out,” he said.
Palmer was injured in the hand and arm. His truck was also damaged from front to back.
But White was fine physically.
She says when she saw the man’s face she recognized him as a former neighbor when she was a child.
“I was 5 when I lived next door to him and it’s been 25,” she said.
She said she didn’t know if the man recognized her as well.
Hemet Police identified him as 33-year-old Chad Michael Arviso.
“I’m scared to go out now. I look at everyone like they’re going to do something to me and I’m closing the doors now,” she said.
She hopes others will see this story and take it as a warning.
“Shut up because it can happen to you. It’s possible,” White said.
Investigators believe Arviso was under the influence of some type of drug. He faces various charges, including auto theft and attempted kidnapping.