Police: Man threatened drivers who gave him rides

Judah Hargrove
Judah Hargrove

FOREST PARK, OH (FOX19) - A Fairfield man faces three felony charges after authorities say he threatened to harm motorists who provided him with rides in two separate incidents since Saturday.

Judah Hargrove, 39, is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center. He's been charged with one count each of kidnapping, robbery and abduction.

The first incident was Saturday in the 11,000 block of Springfield Pike in Springdale.

Police said Hargrove threatened with an implied handgun a woman who said she had been approached for a ride after work in downtown Cincinnati by a black male. The man said he needed a ride to Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to court documents.

The woman agreed to give the man a ride. She asked for identification, he complied and she took a photo of his Ohio identification card before allowing him in her vehicle. Hargrove was identified as the suspect.

While traveling, Hargrove gave directions to the woman. They ended up on Ohio 4 near Cameron Road. Hargrove told the woman to pull into an office building at 11311 Springfield Pike, telling her it was a shortcut. Hargrove had the woman drive to the building's rear where he told her to park the car, turn the car off and turn the vehicle's interior lights off.

The woman argued with Hargrove. He told her again to turn the car off, saying he had a .44 caliber pistol and wouldn't shoot her if she did what he asked. He said if she did anything, he would shoot her. Hargrove repeatedly put his hand into his jacket pocket. The woman jumped out of the vehicle, hit the car alarm and screamed.

Hargrove fled from the vehicle on foot toward Ohio 4.

The second incident was Tuesday in the 600 block of Northland Boulevard in Forest Park. It began at a Kroger store on Madison Pike in Covington, the alleged victim told FOX19.

It started as a quick trip to this grocery store Monday night. Tracie Garcia says she just needed a few gallons of milk for her baby but as she made her way to her car, the quick trip turned into the most terrifying night of her life.

As she left around 10 p.m., Hargrove asked her for a quick ride. His car battery was dead and the temperatures were below freezing. Garcia decided to help.

"He just seemed so honest about his situation and I think everybody has been in that situation at some point and I'm like, 'ok two blocks," says Garcia

Two blocks turned into more than 20 miles. Eventually, Hargrove told Garcia to drive to an ATM in Forest Park demanding she get him money.

"I was pleading with him saying please I don't have a pin. He said how do you use it. I said I use it as credit. I sign. I don't get cash. And he didn't believe me," says Garcia.

Hargrove forced her to drive further. After an hour of being held against her will, Garcia saw an opportunity. A gas station was open on Northland Boulevard.

"He grabbed the steering wheel and the next thing I know we are fighting over the steering wheel and I just gunned it. I pulled in there and I saw a gentleman getting gas I just thought God please let him see that there is a problem," says Garcia.

Garcia jumped out of the car and ran inside pleading for help. Hargrove ran on foot and hours later police had him in custody. It was a terrifying night she says she will never forget.

"I'm just very lucky," says Garcia.

Hargrove is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $50,000 bond. He will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

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