An inmate transport van driver is facing kidnapping charges after authorities in North Carolina said he quit mid-trip and refused to stop with the prisoners at the intended destination.
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said it got a call Tuesday morning from the owner of a company that delivers inmates to and from detention centers around the country warning them to be on the lookout for an inmate transport van traveling on Interstate 40 in Statesville. The owner reported that the driver was off-course and refusing to return the van, the sheriff’s office said in a news release on Thursday.
There were four inmates in the van’s locked cargo area but the sheriff’s office said the driver, identified as Joshua James Pinquet, 21, of Orlando, Florida, told the owner in text messages that he was quitting and he refused to stop in Hickory as planned.
Deputies stopped the van on I-40, detained the two employees and ensured all inmates were secured in the van.
Pinquet was charged with five counts of felony second-degree kidnapping and felony larceny by employee and he’s being held without bond, the sheriff’s office said. An attorney assigned to Pinquet did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on Pinquet’s behalf.
The inmates were turned over to other personnel with the transport company and continued to their destinations in Florida, the sheriff’s office said.