Crime - Sacto 911

Alert officer rescues woman with stab wound, 6-year-old son from accused kidnapper

A desperate cry for help and an alert Sacramento Police Department officer led to the Tuesday morning arrest of a man suspected of stabbing a woman and kidnapping her and her 6-year-old son, Sacramento Police Department spokesman Matthew McPhail said.

The man was identified as 36-year-old Leon McGowan from Pollock Pines and was said to be in a relationship with the woman. The child was the couple’s son, McPhail said.

The incident happened about 1:30 a.m. when the woman was spotted by an officer as he was working security near Seventh and K streets.

She was riding in the passenger seat of a white sport-utility vehicle and suffering from a stab wound to her upper torso, McPhail said.

“A passenger in that vehicle was waving at the officer and yelling for help,” McPhail said.“The officer obviously alerted to this behavior, got in his car and followed the vehicle.”

The officer attempted to stop the car and check on the woman but the car did not pull over. McGowan, the driver, instead headed northbound to North 16th Street before getting onto the Capital City Freeway, McPhail said.

McGowan eventually pulled over near the Madison Avenue exit and additional officers arrived to the scene. McPhail said McGowan got out of the car but did not fully comply to officer’s orders to lay on the ground. Officers later shifted their attention to the woman, asking her to get out of the car, and the 6-year-old boy who were still inside.

“Once the woman got out of the vehicle, (McGowan) turned as if he was going to get back in the car,” McPhail said.

Officers deployed a Taser, bean bag rounds and a K9 at McGowan. McPhail said police were able to detain him after a scuffle with officers.

The woman was sent to the hospital to be treated for her stab wound and was released later Tuesday morning. The 6-year-old boy was not harmed.

McPhail said the three had been driving for several hours from Pollock Pines before reaching downtown Sacramento and that at one point, the woman had attempted to call 911. He said the woman was stabbed sometime during the trip.

McGowan was arrested on suspicion of two counts of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, child endangerment, felony vehicular evading, resisting arrest and impeding a victim from contacting police.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets