BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A woman was arrested and charged this weekend in the alleged abduction of a teenage girl who later escaped from a moving car in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Towanna Randall, 38, of New Haven, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Bridgeport police.

She was charged with sexual assault, unlawful restraint, and reckless endangerment, police said. Her bond was set at $100,000 and she was due back in court on Tuesday.

Bridgeport police received a call around 7:15 a.m. this past Monday of an attempted abduction at Boston and Palisade avenues.

The 17-year-old girl was walking to school down Boston Avenue when she was approached by a charcoal gray Toyota Corolla – earlier reporter as a Toyota Yaris. The driver allegedly offered the girl a ride to school on a cold day, but assaulted her once she was inside, police said.

The girl’s escape was caught on surveillance camera, as she bolted from the moving vehicle on Boston Avenue. Her classmates at Harding High School questioned her decision to get into the stranger’s car, but marveled at her escape as they spoke to CBS2’s Lou Young last week.

“I think she was very, very bold and brave,” said Harding High School senior Demerius Bell.

“I say I’m proud of her for doing that,” said senior Kamaria Alston.

Police found the car Thursday in New Haven aided by tips, but also the unique body damage that was visible in the video.

“The vehicle is missing the rear bumper, and if you look at the rear of the vehicle, it was very distinct and unique,” said Bridgeport police Assistant Chief James Nardozzi.

Police told CBS2 the victim and suspect do not know each other.

Suspect Randall has an extensive criminal record that includes robbery, larceny, and selling hallucinogenic drugs, police said.


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