Police Crime
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October 23, 2017

Police: Pennsylvania man beat 'good Samaritan,' left him in trunk of own car

In a bizarre and horrifying story, state police say a Pennsylvania man repaid another man's kindness by kidnapping him, beating him, crashing his car and leaving him in the trunk of his own vehicle on Friday afternoon.

Police say the unidentified victim, 64, met the alleged attacker, John Butler, 42, of Scranton, in Luzerne County and tried to be a "good Samaritan" by offering him a ride.

When they approached Butler's residence, he got nervous because police cars were there and he had an outstanding warrant for retail theft, according to authorities.

Butler allegedly had the victim drive him to a remote area, where he physically assaulted him and forced him into the backseat of the car.

Butler began driving the victim's car and was involved in a hit-and-run crash with a white construction van somewhere in Luzerne County, police say.

After driving off, Butler allegedly pulled over, made the victim exit the car and once again "brutally" beat him until he became unconscious, before forcing him into the trunk of the car.

Butler drove the victim 100 miles south to Lebanon County, where the vehicle became disabled on I-78, police say. He allegedly called for a tow truck and also called police to report the incident.

The victim was found by police with blunt force trauma to his head and was taken to the hospital, where he was last listed in critical condition.

Butler was taken into custody, and charges are pending. Anyone with information on the hit-and-run crash is asked to call state police at 717-865-2194.