Two Tourists Kidnapped, Beaten and Robbed in Nashville
Metro police are investigating after two tourists said they were driven from a Broadway bar to a Midtown bank Thursday night, where one of them was assaulted and the other was robbed and later left on the side of an interstate.
The two victims, both visiting Tennessee from Virginia, left a bar on Broadway and got into a black Ford Fusion with some people to purchase marijuana, according to officers.
The tourists were driven to the Wells Fargo on West End Avenue in the Midtown area, where detectives said the people they were with demanded their pin numbers, and ordered them to withdraw all the money from their accounts.
Surveillance image of suspect in robbery of tourists (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)
While one of the victims complied, investigators said the other refused and attempted to fight the robbers, one of which was armed with a gun. He was assaulted, then pulled out of the vehicle and left on the ground by the ATM, according to police.
Detectives did not believe his injuries were life-threatening.
Police said the robbers drove off with the other victim still in their vehicle, but dropped him off on the side of the interstate. He told officers that he walked down the ramp to a residential area, where he got someone to give him a ride back to his hotel.
News 2 spoke with Tony Harden who works on West End in downtown Nashville. He said he has seen crime trending in the wrong direction.
“I see it getting worse every day, especially with tourists. They come in, they trust people, and they do things they shouldn’t do.” Harden continued, “It’s a place to come and have fun, but you got to stay safe, because like I said, they are very lucky they get to go home.”
For people like Rose Melillo, who banks at the Wells Fargo where the incident occurred, shocked is the best way to describe what they felt when they heard the news.
“I’ve been coming to this particular bank for at least 15 years, and I go to the ATM all the time after hours – sometimes 2 or 3 in the morning. I couldn’t imagine even thinking about this kind of thing happening at this particular branch. I’ve always thought about this as a super safe area.”
Melillo added, “It’s getting scary to think that our tourists and our people that are patrons are going to be facing this kind of thing.”
Metro police said Friday afternoon that they recovered the Ford Fusion on South Seventh Street in East Nashville.
They also located Jeremiah Miller in a nearby apartment and discovered he had an outstanding warrant for domestic assault, according to investigators.
During an interview with detectives, police said Miller, who matched the description of one of the suspects involved in Thursday night’s incident, admitted to being the driver of the Fusion.
Miller was arrested on two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery. He was booked into the Metro jail, where he was held on a $255,000 bond.
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