An Albuquerque woman is home safe Friday night after police said she fought for her life Tuesday when James Carter tried to abduct her.
The woman, who asked KRQE News 13 not to identify her, said the flashbacks are real.
“The first 24 hours were the worst,” she said. “I’m thinking I may not be here right now, or where would I be right now?”
Tuesday evening, she said she was taking her daily stroll along Copper Avenue, near Tramway, when she noticed a man sitting in his car with the passenger side door open.
She said that immediately caught her attention. So she said, she crossed the street so she would be on the opposite side.
“I kept walking east, looking back, took a few steps, looked back again about the fourth time I looked back he was in a full sprint running toward me.”
The woman said before Carter had time to grab her, she pulled out mace. She maced him, but said that didn’t stop him, and it didn’t stop her.
“I’m so surprised at how calm and collective I stayed,” she said. “I was even asked how I had time to take out my mace, open it and spray him. My mace is always open when I walk alone.”
By then, she had yelled at a driver, passing by, for help. That driver let her in the backseat.
“She was a very brave individual,” Officer Simon Drobik said. “I can’t stress enough. You have to have a plan because this guy didn’t care what time a day it was or if it was in front of people.”
Police said that scared Carter off, but not enough to keep him from trying again.
The next day, police say he attempted to kidnap a 14-year-old while she was walking home from school. People in the area rushed to help her.
“Yes, he was definitely preying against women who were by themselves, out in the open,” he said. “It’s almost like the connection was in the Foothills area command.”
Last week is when detectives got their first call about an attempted kidnapping in the Foothills. They believe the 17-year-old in that case could have been Carter’s first victim. She told police she was also able to fight him off when he attacked her from behind.
Three separate attempts, so some people are asking why APD didn’t put out some kind of warning after the first two.
“If we put out something and this guy goes underground and he resurfaces, two, three months from now, the decision just had to be made through police work,” he said.
The woman who spoke with KRQE News 13 defended APD’s decision.
“They did such a great job. You know sometimes everybody just puts them down,” she said. “Yes, three of us may have gotten away with it, but what about the fourth possible victim? Might not have been as lucky.”
It wasn’t until a woman snapped a photo of Carter’s car fleeing, after witnesses caught him trying to kidnap the 14-year-old. Police traced him back to his apartment Thursday.
Despite the trauma, one of the three victims said she has a message for others.
“Young ladies, keep your head up. Don’t let this gentlemen, this creep, change our habits completely,” She said. “But please be extra cautious, extra careful.”
Carter made his first appearance in front of a judge Friday. He’ll stay behind bars for now. According to court records, he doesn’t appear to have a criminal history.