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Text Message Saves Kidnapped Lawyers

Posted Jul 5, 2007 8:21 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Atlanta police rescued two lawyers who had been abducted at gunpoint after one of the victims sent a text message to his brother.

"We've been kidnapped. Please call the police and help us," the message read, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

David Deganian, a public defender, sent the message from the trunk of a car just before 3 a.m. Sunday. He was afraid to talk on his phone for fear the kidnappers would hear him.

"I am still in shock a little bit," he told the newspaper afterwards. "I didn't think I was going to get out of it."

Four men kidnapped Deganian and Herman Hoying, a lawyer from King & Spalding, as they left a bar in the early morning hours. The kidnappers forced the two attorneys to withdraw money from an ATM, stole their wallets, and then took them to a vacant duplex.

Police got a lucky break in the case when they contacted a bank official about the lawyers’ stolen credit cards and learned one of the cards was being used at a mall. Police got a description of two men who made the purchase, and found two suspects who fit that description with shopping bags outside.

Under questioning in the mall parking lot, the two men told police where they could find the victims.

When police arrived, "I had this sense of amazement and just rejoicing," Hoying told the newspaper.

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