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Woman kidnapped by boyfriend after attempting to end relationship, police say

Steven Cline, 41, charged with kidnapping

Steven Cline

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A woman was kidnapped by her former boyfriend Friday after she attempted to end their relationship, police said.

The Lake City Police Department said officers were called to Hip Hop Fish and Chicken after the victim ran inside screaming for someone to call 911.

The victim told police she'd been dating the suspect, Steven Cline, 41, for about nine months. She said she went home earlier in the day to get her belongings and tell him she was leaving, and they got into an argument.

Police said Cline punched the victim in the face and told her to drive him to the Hip Hop Fish and Chicken restaurant because he wanted to try the food there, but she declined. That's when Cline allegedly pulled out a gun and demanded she drive him, police said.

The victim told police she intentionally drove erratically in hopes of catching the attention of law enforcement officers, and at one point Cline emptied the contents of her purse -- which included her money, identification and cellphone -- into his backpack.

Police said they later learned that Jason Armetta, an acquaintance of Cline and the victim, was in the vehicle during the trip and overheard part of the argument. Investigators said Armetta told them he knew Cline owns a firearm that matched the description of the one the victim said Cline used to threaten her.

The victim reported to police that she attempted to jump out of the car at least once while en route to the restaurant. As soon as she parked, she jumped out of the car, ran inside and screamed for someone to call 911.

Responding officers located Cline hiding in the restroom of a nearby Family Dollar store. He was arrested and charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He is jailed in Columbia County on $205,000 bond.


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