Everett couple offered ride to Amber Alert suspect and victim

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by ELISA HAHN/KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 5:33 AM

An Everett couple says they were coming home from a road trip across the state, when they came across a stranded driver on Highway 2. Little did they know, it was the car police were searching for in the Amber Alert out of Auburn.

Ralph and Esther Greenhalgh say they didn't hesitate to pull over to help.

"We stop and help people all the time," said Esther Greenhalgh. "She had a little boy in the car. Would you stop? Would anybody stop?"

They said the driver, Sandra Bennatts, looked harmless enough. Her son sat in the front passenger seat. What struck them was that Bennatts car was parked in the middle lane of the highway, facing the wrong direction.

"There was a blonde who poked her head out of the window and said she was out of gas," said Ralph. "Do we have any gas? I said 'No. No gas.' She said 'Well would you give us a ride?' I said 'Sure, where did you want to go?'"

But just then, Ralph Greenhalgh spotted a WSDOT reader board that posted the Amber Alert in the distance, and suddenly it clicked in.

"We were watching these Amber Alert signs, but we never dreamed in a lifetime that we would drive right up upon her," he said.

It turns out police were already pursuing her, and within seconds, surrounded the car. The Greenhalghs snapped more than a dozen photos as they placed her under arrest.

"Her window was down about that far," she said. "They came up with the guns drawn, told her to get out. She didn't respond. They said 'Get your hands out of the car!'"

As soon as they had Bennatts in cuffs, police gently escorted the boy away.

"He wasn't scared or anything," said Ralph. "He just didn't seem to grasp what was going on."

"The little boy is safe," said Esther with a smile on her face. "That is all I can say."

What a relief for the retired couple, who realized they almost got caught up in a pursuit of a desperate kidnapper.

"We might be a little more careful," said Ralph.

"We're going to be a lot more careful," said his wife.

 

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