A Culpeper mother is lucky she was able to escape a frightening attempted abduction by a masked man brandishing a knife and hiding inside her car parked outside A.G. Richardson Elementary School Tuesday morning.
According to Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins — who was still standing outside the school moments after the terrifying episode — the female victim had just dropped her children off at school and upon returning to her late model Cadillac CTS around 8:30 a.m. she encountered a man wearing a ski mask who was seated in her backseat, commanding her to drive.
Jenkins identified the suspect as David Hernandez Shumaker, 28, of Rochelle, Madison County, who faces abduction, carjacking, wearing a mask in public, possessing a weapon on school property and stalking.
And Tuesday’s incident wasn’t the first time Shumaker reportedly tried to make contact with the female victim.
CCSO deputies also obtained additional warrants against Shumaker related to previous incidents involving the victim, which include breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny in mid-November, breaking and entering with intent to stalk in July and August and peeping in December.
Jenkins said Tuesday’s reported attempted abduction was thwarted when several people were walking nearby in the parking lot and a ringing telephone distracted Shumaker, allowing the victim to escape her vehicle and run inside to the school’s main office.
As the victim ran toward the school, Jenkins said Shumaker removed his mask and chased her inside the building.
“Once inside the school, he tried to play the role of being her boyfriend,” said Jenkins, who described the victim and Shumaker as being acquaintances.
Jenkins said Shumaker did not have the knife when he entered the school Tuesday morning.
Jenkins said A.G. Richardson school employees separated the victim from Shumaker, detaining him inside the main office until law enforcement arrived. The closest CCSO resource officer was stationed at Pearl Sample Elementary School just a stone’s throw away from A.G. Richardson when the incident occurred.
Jenkins added that Shumaker used a friend’s vehicle, a burgundy SUV, which was also parked in the A.G. Richardson parking lot at the bottom of the hill on Simms Drive off James Madison Highway (U.S. 15) just south of the town of Culpeper Tuesday morning as well.
“That way she wouldn’t have recognized the vehicle he was driving,” said Jenkins,
Detectives are trying to figure out if Shumaker had permission to utilize his friend’s vehicle Tuesday morning.
In addition to knives, deputies also recovered zip ties and a cloth gag in the backseat area of the victim’s Cadillac.
“Everything that’s in that car shows a clear case of what he intended to do,” Jenkins explained, pointing to the victim’s vehicle. “She’s lucky. It would have been bad for her if he’d gotten her away from here.”
A.G. Richardson has about 600 students, including preschoolers.
Jenkins said students were never in any danger and “were never a target of any aggression by the suspect.”
Bobbi Johnson, superintendent of Culpeper County Public Schools, said the A.G. Richardson Elementary office staff acted quickly to insure the safety of the faculty and students.
“I am grateful to the staff of A.G. Richardson and to the Culpeper County Sheriff's department for their handling of this situation,” said Johnson, further explaining that the doors that separate the office from the rest of the school building were locked down to keep the individual contained to the office area. “Students were not in danger.”
Shumaker is being held without bond at Culpeper County Jail.