Woman, 26, blames owners for abduction
Woman seeks $10M
Suit says complex failed to provide adequate
By ERIC HARTLEY Journal staff writer
A Fort Washington woman who was abducted in
front of her apartment and locked in the trunk of her car is
suing the owners of her complex, claiming they failed to provide
Jacenta Diane Collins, 26, filed the lawsuit
last month in Prince George's County Circuit Court accusing the
owner and operator of the Rosecroft Gardens apartments of
Prince George's County police said Richard Lee
Harrison, 24, approached Collins as she was getting out of her
car at 1:15 a.m. Dec. 7.
Harrison demanded Collins' ATM card and personal
identification number, then forced her into the trunk of her
car, police said. He then drove to several ATMs and withdrew
money before leaving the car - with Collins inside - in
Forestville, police said.
Collins was found uninjured the next day.
Harrison was arrested Dec. 13 after police
released a picture of a man using Collins' ATM card at an Upper
Marlboro bank. He was charged with kidnapping, robbery and
carjacking but has not gone to trial.
In her lawsuit, Collins says the complex's
owner, Aimco Rosecroft Mews L.D., and operator, Apartment
Investment and Managament Co., failed to exercise "reasonable
care" for their tenants.
Collins' lawyer, Henry Weil,
said that landlords cannot ensure residents' safety, but that
Rosecroft Gardens should have had more security because it is in
a high-crime area.
"Essentially, they had zero,"
Weil said. "And that's the key: If they
had even provided minimal security, this might not have
There was a fence around the complex, but it had
a large hole in it that had not been repaired, Weil said.
In addition, Collins' lawsuit says, there should
have been better lighting in the complex's parking lots.
Collins "suffered severe and permanent physical
and emotional injuries," according to her lawsuit, which seeks
$10 million for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and
"She is in a dire situation right now,
emotionally and physically," Weil said.
Collins since has moved out of Rosecroft
Susan Toland, the property manager at Rosecroft
Gardens, was out of the office Friday. Officials at Aimco's
local office did not return a telephone call seeking comment
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