Cops: Note to stranger saves woman from boyfriend accused of kidnapping her

Woman hands note to stranger indicating she needed help


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A woman's note to a stranger at a gas station ended up saving her from her Deltona boyfriend, who deputies say kidnapped her Friday.

According to St. Johns County deputies, Francis Knuck III, of Deltona, pulled over at a Hess Station near State Road 207 and Interstate 95 around 2 p.m. Friday.

That's when the woman, who investigators aren't identifying, got out and handed a stranger a note. It indicated that she needed help and asked that the recipient call her dad and not police.

But the stranger did get in touch with authorities, who spotted the car about two hours later and arrested Knuck without incident. Deputies took the woman to a St. Augustine-area shelter.

Knuck now faces several charges for kidnapping and domestic violence. He's also facing several charges for drugs investigators found in the car. He'll appear before a judge Saturday morning.

Deputies are still investigating how long Knuck allegedly held the woman against her will, where they were going and why he reportedly took her.

Meanwhile, neighbors in Knuck's Deltona neighborhood told WKMG-TV they were shocked and uneasy.

"It really scares me and worries me because I have a little one and a sister," said Eneida Lopez.

A woman who came to the door at Knuck's house but didn't want to be identified siad she doesn't believe Knuck would do anything violent. She said he's a former firefighter and paramedic, and does not have a criminal past.

"He'll lose his temper. You know all people do, but to be violent, he's never been violent with me," the woman said.