Methuen Police Arrest and Charge Man with Kidnapping Attempt in Grocery Store Parking Lot

The Methuen Police Department has arrested and charged a man after he attempted to force his way into a woman’s car and kidnap her Friday night.

RAFAEL ROSARIO, AGE 53, OF LAWRENCE was charged with:

• Strangulation

• Attempted Kidnapping

• Attempted Carjacking

• Assault and Battery

At approximately 7:50 p.m. Friday, Methuen Police were dispatched to the area of Market Basket, 186 Haverhill St., for a 911 caller reporting an attempted car jacking.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to a woman who stated that she was in her car with the door closed when a man, later identified as ROSARIO, allegedly forced his way into her car without her permission, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her further into

the vehicle.

Fearing for her life, the victim started screaming for help and beeping the car horn to get someone’s attention. A witness had just pulled into the parking space across from the victim in a pickup truck and saw the commotion and began to come help.

ROSARIO then exited the woman’s car and ran across the parking lot toward the area of Hobson Street. The male witness told the victim to call 911 and briefly chased ROSARIO before stopping and waiting for police.

Responding officers searched the area of Hobson Street and, a short time later, officers located ROSARIO located lying in the snow along a fence in the back corner of a property. He was placed under arrest without further incident.

EMTs from the Methuen Fire Department responded to the grocery store parking lot to treat the victim, who declined further medical treatment.

ROSARIO is expected to be arraigned Monday in Lawrence District Court.

“I would like to commend the brave citizen who witnessed this incident and sprang into action to help,” Chief Solomon said. “However, chasing after a suspect is something that can be extremely dangerous and we ask all residents that find themselves in an emergency to call 911 and let our officers take over from there.”

Mayor James Jajuga said, “We are all very glad to hear that the victim in this case was not seriously injured. Incidents like this should serve as a reminder for everyone to be mindful of your surroundings, even in a busy parking lot.”

These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.