No charges to be filed against Lutz#039;s abductor

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 25, 2002

No charges can be filed against a stranger who hitched a ride to Columbus from a local man two weeks ago.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J B Collier said the incident was investigated as a possible abduction, but since the suspect did not at any time produce a weapon or verbally make a direct threat against Tommy Lutz, it would be impossible to make charges stick.

Collier described the man, who has not been identified, as having "a lengthy criminal record."

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"I believe he did deceive Tommy Lutz, and I think Tommy felt like he was in danger," Collier said. "But the element of force or the threat of force just was not there."

On August 11, the man entered Weber's Florist Shop on S. Sixth Street and asked for a battery jump.

Lutz, an employee, obtained the keys to a co-worker's truck and agreed to jump start the man's car.

Lutz later told authorities the man kept changing his story, and asked for a ride around the corner. Once in the truck, the man asked for a ride to Columbus. Lutz told Ironton Police he felt threatened and uncomfortable.

After dropping the man off in Columbus, Lutz came home and reported what happened.

"I think Tommy was lucky," Collier said. "the end result was happy, and he's safe and sound." Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune