ACA Teacher Kidnapped — Decades Ago

By Victor Heimbigner, The Charter News Features –

Kristen Kohl is an Alliance Charter Academy Spanish teacher and an Educational Specialist. She loves to travel and has an exciting life.  She loves teaching and has been a teacher for a few years now and had an interesting story to tell her fellow coworkers and students before she was a teacher.

Kohl was kidnapped at the age of 19, almost 20, near Lake Tahoe, California.

Kohl was looking for a summer job as a waitress in Tahoe and was returning on a bus to Davis, California, which is located near Sacramento.  One of the bus passengers had lost their mind and shot at the bus driver shortly after the bus departed. The driver was not hit and was keeping calm while the shooter was yelling at him as he tried to get off the bus.  The bus driver couldn’t let him off because they were climbing a hill, so the shooter went around and started to take valuables from the passengers.  

The kidnapper sat down in front of Kohl and another girl and started to ask Kohl some questions like, “where are you headed?”, “where are you from?”.  When the bus finally stopped, the shooter demanded the bus driver go steal a getaway car for him to flee, but the bus driver did not come back and called the police instead.

The kidnapper took Kohl and another girl with him and stole a car by shooting at a guy for the car with a believed cap gun, but he forgot the money so he sent the other girl to get it.  The girl went back to get the money. When she got back the kidnapper took the money, but left without her but still had Kohl in the front seat.  

The kidnapper was driving dangerously, shooting out the window with what sounded like a cap gun but was real.  He threw the gun on the floor in front of Kohl and he continued to drive recklessly on a winding mountain road.  He was driving so fast that the police later told Kohl that they had purposely backed off and gotten out of sight because they thought he would drive off the cliff. Later, when the kidnapper thought he had lost the cops, he stopped on a dirt road and tried to reload the gun and suggested taking the drugs that he had. Kohl said, “No” so he disappointedly returned back to the main road.

After about two and a half hours of driving and evading the police, a policeman on the side of the road spotted the car. The kidnapper lost control and put the pedal to the metal, hitting 100 mph. They eventually ran off the road with 2 police cars after them. “Get out of the car,” the kidnapper yelled. Kohl grabbed her purse and jumped out while the kidnapper tried to make a run for it. The police caught up to him and he turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the stomach. While that was all happening, Kohl had been standing by the police car all by herself and had stayed calm during the entire thing.

“A few years after all of this, the kidnapper, whose name was Keith, sent me a letter telling me that he was sorry for everything he had done and asked me to write him back.  My dad told me, “no way!” so I never did.” stated Kohl. She has always been grateful that God protected her and that the ordeal ended without any physical or emotional harm to her. She saw clearly how drugs can affect a person’s mental state. Thankfully this story had a positive ending.

This story shows how easily danger like this can happen and how scary people can be in our everyday lives.  Staying calm helps in every way possible.  Stay safe and stay calm.