A waitress who chased down a group of people allegedly dashing out on a $70 check at a New Jersey diner wound up being taken into an SUV, assaulted and ditched on the side of the road, police in Gloucester County said.
"It's a brazen abduction, it's a robbery, it's a potential kidnapping," Washington Township Police Chief Patrick Gurcsik said.
Gurcsik said police need the public's help identifying the suspects. (EDITOR'S NOTE: See a full description of the attackers in the video above.)
The attack started around 11:30 p.m. after the 20-year-old waitress at the Nifty Fifty's on Route 42 in Washington Township tried to stop a group of five people -- three men and two women -- from leaving without paying, township police said in a Facebook post.
Get Philly local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Philadelphia newsletters.
The group jumped into a white Dodge Durango with New Jersey tags and were starting to leave when the waitress got into a confrontation with them over the $70 check, police said. A woman can be seen on surveillance video getting out of the SUV as the waitress wound up inside the Durango.
The waitress was then assaulted in the back seat as the driver drove up Route 42. After less than a mile, the driver did a U-turn and returned southbound on Route 42 possibly to pick up the woman who initially ran away from the SUV, police said.
The waitress, who didn't have her cellphone on her, eventually got away after being dropped near the Aldi across Route 42. She then made her way back across busy Route 42 before calling 911 from the diner.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
She was hospitalized and may have suffered a concussion during the attack, police said.
Police asked anyone with information to contact Washington Township Detective M Longfellow by phone at 856-589-0330, ext. 1160, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.