Newport kidnapping, carjacking suspect held on $250k bond - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Newport kidnapping, carjacking suspect held on $250k bond

William E. Sellers is accused of robbing a Newport store at gunpoint and then kidnapping a mentally disabled man in a carjacking. (PHOTO: Provided by Newport Police Department) William E. Sellers is accused of robbing a Newport store at gunpoint and then kidnapping a mentally disabled man in a carjacking. (PHOTO: Provided by Newport Police Department)
A witness caught the carjacking on camera. (PHOTO: YOUTUBE/ Zack Carpenter) A witness caught the carjacking on camera. (PHOTO: YOUTUBE/ Zack Carpenter)
Clifford Dragoo hugs family member (PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko) Clifford Dragoo hugs family member (PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko)
William E. Sellers (Provided by the Campbell County Sheriff's Office) William E. Sellers (Provided by the Campbell County Sheriff's Office)
NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - A mentally disabled man kidnapped in a carjacked from a Newport parking lot Wednesday is safe, and the suspect is under arrest, police said.

William E. Sellers is held at the Campbell County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond following a brief court appearance Thursday morning.

He was taken into custody just before 10 p.m. Wednesday on charges of robbery, kidnapping, wanton endangerment and theft by unlawful taking.

A seven-hour manhunt ensued after police say Sellers pulled a gun and tried to steal a carton of cigarettes from the Remke Market on Carothers Road about 2:30 p.m. and then took off across Grand Avenue. 

Sellers is accused of carjacking a mini-van and kidnapping the mentally disabled man in the passenger seat, Clifford Dragoo.

Witnesses tried to stop Sellers, but he took off with the vehicle and Dragoo, 51, of Newport.

Dragoo was found safe a short time later in the back of the van near Logan and Green streets in Over-the-Rhine.

"I said to myself, 'I hope and pray this turns out all right,'” said Jack Dragoo, Clifford's father. He was out running errands when the carjacking occurred. He owns the mini-van.

A bystander to the crime, Zach Carpenter, shot a video that was quickly posted to YouTube.

"I just started filming, and walked outside just to see what was going on because I saw a lot of people getting involved. The next thing I hear is someone yell, 'you're carjacking,'” Carpenter said.

In the video, witnesses tussle with the suspect as he carjacked Dragoo's van before speeding off with his mentally disabled son inside.

"He said he was going to take the van and I'm never going to see it again or my boy,” Dragoo said. "This thing happened so fast. I didn't know what was going on. First thing I know, my van was gone and he was gone."

Father and son have been reunited.

"I kind of missed him. I'm glad I got him back,” Dragoo said.

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