BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Andrew Myers, 36, was arrested yesterday morning and charged with kidnapping and sexual battery after allegedly taking a woman from a bar against her will, imprisoning her in his van, stripping her naked, and raping her. His listed address is in Huntsville, AL, but the arresting officer wrote that he is believed to be a “transient” who is living in his van.
The victim and a friend were at Lillian’s, 112 SE 1st Street, Monday night, and the friend said Myers had been following them around the bar for “multiple hours,” although they tried to get him to stop; he reportedly bought the victim a drink at one point. The victim had 3-4 drinks, which she said was normal for her, and then she went into the bathroom at about 1:00 a.m. While she was in the bathroom, Myers reportedly brought her another drink (the responding Gainesville Police Department officer noted that Lillian’s currently has only one working bathroom) and said, “Take a sip of this.” The victim reportedly said that after that, things were “blurry,” and she could not feel her feet as Myers took her outside.
The victim was reportedly able to describe the inside of the van, which has a twin mattress. She said she woke up naked inside the van, face down, with Myers on top of her and raping her. She said she tried to elbow him off her, but he was too heavy. She said she blacked out again and woke up when her friend opened the door of the van.
The victim’s friend reportedly said she has seen the victim intoxicated before, but the victim was not behaving like her normal self after she had the drink offered by Myers. She said she was in the bathroom with the victim and heard Myers come in and talk to the victim, but when she came out of the stall, they were both gone. She searched for the victim and then used her phone to track the victim’s location. After leaving the bar to find her friend, she reportedly found Myers pacing on SE 2nd Avenue and confronted him; she said Myers told her the victim was in his van, and she reportedly found the victim naked and face down in the back of the van.
The victim’s friend found the victim’s pants and gave her a jacket; she said she was afraid that Myers would shove them both into the van. After the victim said she had been raped, the friend confronted Myers and then took pictures of the van and license plate as Myers drove away.
Gainesville Police Department officers reportedly found Myers and the van in Melrose, and he returned to GPD voluntarily to meet with detectives. The victim’s tank top and shirt were reportedly found in the van.
Myers has no criminal history; Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $150,000.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.