Naked, armed woman accused of kidnapping man near Bloomfield

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

AZTEC — A 30-year-old naked woman armed with an ax and a knife allegedly took a man hostage last week on U.S. Highway 64.

James Sides told police that Jennifer Lee Brown jumped into his vehicle, and, at knife-point, forced him to drive to a Sonic Drive-In in Bloomfield.

He contacted police at the restaurant, and Brown, who was nude except for a black trash bag wrapped around her waist, was arrested at a nearby Dollar General, according to the arrest warrant.

Sides told The Daily Times on Monday that he moved to Bloomfield about two months ago to live closer to his mother.

"I was scared to death the whole time," he said. "But afterwards, it's kind of hard not to laugh."

Brown was charged April 21 in Aztec Magistrate Court with first-degree kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She is being held at San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a $130,000 bond, according to court records.

According to the arrest warrant, officers from the Bloomfield Police Department were dispatched April 20 to the Dollar General, 1502 W. Broadway Ave., after receiving reports of a naked woman. Brown was found by police at the store and placed under arrest, the warrant states.

Sides was also found at the scene and told police the nude woman kidnapped him at a residence on U.S. Highway 64. Sides told The Daily Times he was driving west on U.S. 64 toward Farmington when he picked up a woman hitchhiking on the side of the road.

He drove the woman to a residence at 6088 U.S. Highway 64, and she exited his vehicle without any issues, the complaint states.

Brown then "came out of nowhere" and jumped into the back seat of his vehicle, Sides said. He said the woman "had a black trash bag wrapped around her waist, but her breasts weren't covered." Sides said she had an ax in her right hand and a knife in her left hand.

"She was jabbing the knife at me, screaming," he said. "I was buckled in, so there was nothing I could really do."

He said Brown ordered him to drive her to the Sonic Drive-In at 1332 W. Broadway Ave.

Brown ditched the ax out of the car window shortly before they arrived at Sonic, Sides said, but she was still armed with the knife.

When they arrived at the Sonic, Brown hopped out of the vehicle and began screaming into one of the speaker boxes demanding water, the warrant states.

Sides said he saw that as his opportunity to escape.

"I reach over and shut the door and lock it," he said. "But because the window is down, she jumps back in through the window."

He said at that point he saw she was no longer armed with the knife. He exited his vehicle and told a Sonic employee to call police.

Sides and Brown went into the restaurant so that Brown could ask for a job application, the warrant states, and Brown then said she wanted to go to the Dollar General across the street.

Sides said he saw a state patrolman performing a traffic stop nearby and told the officer what had happened.

Bloomfield police officers then arrived on the scene, and Brown was placed under arrest.

She was belligerent when questioned by officers, the warrant states, and continued to demand water.

Sides said he lived in Albuquerque for several years before moving to San Juan County, and this was the first time something like this has happened to him.

"You don't see too many naked folks with knives and axes," Sides said.

Brown is expected to appear at a preliminary examination hearing on Thursday, according to court records.

She is being represented by attorney Scott Johnson of the New Mexico Public Defender's Office. Johnson did not respond to a request for comment.

According to court records, Brown was convicted of conspiracy to commit motor vehicle theft, a first offense, in 2012 and sentenced to unsupervised probation.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.