Pasco woman hurt in kidnap scheme
By RYAN DAVIS, Times Staff Writer
PORT RICHEY -- Told she had won an AT&T gift certificate, Tiffany Hines hurried to Gulf View Square mall Friday morning to collect it.
But it was a ruse. In the middle of a busy mall parking lot, the 23-year-old found herself blindfolded and kidnapped at gunpoint. She was tossed in the back of a car, where her captor injected her with something that made her woozy.
She prepared to die.
"I was done fighting. I couldn't feel anything," the Hudson woman said Saturday. "I said my prayer. I said, "This is way it was supposed to end.' "
But Hines survived the injections. She survived a hammer blow to her head. She survived the scariest 2 1/2 hours of her life.
Hours after she was dumped on a rural, northwest Pasco road, sheriff's deputies arrested a woman and charged her with Hines' kidnapping and attempted murder. That woman -- Tara Lynn Horsley, 25, of New Port Richey -- is the jealous girlfriend of a man who fathered a daughter with Hines, deputies said. She was in jail Saturday.
"None of it makes any sense," Hines said. "It all sounds crazy if you ask me."
Hines said she took a call on her cellular phone Friday morning. The person on the other end said she had won an AT&T gift certificate.
To claim it, she had to get from her Hudson home to the Port Richey mall before 11 a.m.
Hines arrived with five minutes to spare. She left her mother and 2-year-old daughter in the car.
"I'll run in. You stay with the baby," she said, according to a sheriff's report.
She looked in front of Sears but didn't see a red and white booth, as she expected.
Then a woman appeared.
"Ms. Hines," she said. "Come with me."
The woman walked her outside, pointed a gun -- which proved fake -- and said, "If you ever want to see your daughter again, come with me."
Then she blindfolded Hines, deputies said.
Robert Semansky was looking for a parking spot when he saw a blindfolded woman being led to a car, he said. He copied down the license plate number and alerted deputies.
About noon, Hines' mother reported her missing.
One deputy was at the mall investigating the suspicious blindfolding incident. Another was investigating a missing person.
They realized it was one case.
"It was just so bizarre," said sheriff's Lt. Skip Stone.
As deputies searched for her, a blindfolded Hines said she was taken for a ride. Her captor peppered her with questions.
"How is your relationship with your father's daughter?" "Do you still talk to him?"
Hines sobbed hysterically. The kidnapper said someone else was in the car, but Hines said she never heard anyone.
As they stopped at a house where Hines expected to be interrogated, her captor injected her. The woman said it was heroin.
Hines said her prayer.
But she didn't die. She was forced out of the car. She felt her arms going numb. The drug, which proved to be an anesthetic, was affecting her. Suddenly, she was back in a car and headed to another house, she said. She doesn't know where.
At the house, still blindfolded, she took a blow to the face.
When she came to, someone was spraying her with a hose, she said, and she could see a hammer.
"On the claw end, there was blood," she said.
Hines said her captor removed the blindfold, covered her face with a washcloth and had her put her head between her knees.
Then the woman dragged her back to a car.
Her kidnapper said it was just about over. She said she was dumping Hines on a road near the mall. She dropped Hines at about 1:30 p.m.
Hines couldn't see much. She had a gash over her left eye that would take 44 stitches to close, she said, and the drug made her groggy.
The little bit she saw made her realize she wasn't near the mall. She was on Treaty Road in Shady Hills, more than 10 miles northeast of Port Richey.
The license number Semansky gave deputies led them to the house on Adams Street where Horsley lives with Mitchell Hadlock, father of Hines' child. He was not charged in the incident Saturday. Deputies were still investigating.
Hines found help from Treaty Road residents, who called an ambulance.
"All I wanted," Hines said, "was a cigarette."
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