FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – A 26-year-old Flint man described a harrowing ordeal in which he and his girlfriend were tied up with towels over their head while armed robbers held them hostage for over a half hour Monday night.
The man said he arrived to his apartment and knocked for his girlfriend to let him in.
“And all of a sudden that guy in a ski mask shows up to my door with a gun pointing to my head, and I’m kinda like smiling, like is this a joke?” he said.
His 20-year-old girlfriend was home and he could hear her whimpering in the background. The man, whose identity isn’t being revealed due to safety concerns, couldn’t see her because the suspects threw a towel over his head, tied his ankles and wrists with zip ties and put a gun to his head.
The victim said his girlfriend was blindfolded and tied up the same way. The suspects also took off her clothes.
The man said at least 30 to 40 minutes went by and he could feel the gun on his head the entire time. When it got quiet, he was able to get the towel off, see his terrified girlfriend and notice all his belongings were gone.
“I was outraged,” the man said. “I was somehow able to muster up the courage to take these ties right off my hands… I was knocking like crazy on the doors trying to get people to help and it took forever for anybody wanting to help at all.”
The man said his girlfriend ran across the street for help getting the zip ties off. An employee at the Liquor Corner Two store said he handed scissors to a woman who had individual zip ties on each wrist. She cut them off and left.
Flint Police Department Det. Sgt. Tyrone Booth confirmed that officers responded to the apartment around 7:30 p.m. Monday to take a report. The man said his girlfriend is staying in a safe place while the search continues for the armed robbery and home invasion suspects.
Both victims are expected to be OK physically.
“I’m just happy to be alive,” the man said.
ABC12 received numerous phone calls, emails and Facebook messages on Tuesday claiming the crime was a case of human trafficking. Booth issued a statement Tuesday afternoon clarifying that no human trafficking was alleged at that location.
“Our agency did not respond to investigate a call for human trafficking. In addition, the property is not owned by or associated with the Flint Police Department,” Booth said in a statement. “We ask residents to remember to get information from trusted sources.”
It’s believed the rumors began after a woman who drove by the scene said she saw police, and a woman with zip ties on her. She posted a video to Facebook and explained she assumed this was sex trafficking.
From there, the rumor mill took off.
The Flint Michigan Scanner Facebook page posted a message, saying a sex trafficking ring is being busted on Fenton and 12th. It’s important to note that this page is not run by dispatch, or by police.
None the less, there are nearly a thousand comments on the post and over 2,000 shares.
Just about an hour ago, the page made another post saying, “… we rely on info from the public – we post it the way told to us …Info may be 100% true or not at all.” It continues, “We are doing our best trying to let everyone know what is going on in the area with only limited resources.”
It’s important to remember when looking at social media, verify the source. Verify where the information comes from, and if something seems off, it probably is.
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