(WVUE) - A Florida teenager is in stable condition in a Lafayette hospital, stabbed ten times by a sex offender. Police say she willingly left the Tampa area with the man last week.
Police caught up with 41-year-old Steven Myers and the girl after a high speed chase near Grosse Tete.
A quick thinking truck stop worker recognized their faces and called police.
Scott Holbrook manages the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete. Around 8:00 Wednesday night, his co-worker would make news headlines and make a family's day.
"I could see the fear in her eyes like this guy is wanted and this girl is kidnapped."
Surveillance monitors tell the story of what happened.
"This is the gentleman and here is Ashley there," said Holbrooke pointing at the monitor.
41-year-old Steven Myers entered the truck stop with Ashley Lyon. A woman working there recognized the two from the Nancy Grace show.
"That's him there walking in the store," Holbrook said. He said the worker went to the back to confirm the man's identity. Holbrook in the meantime sold the man a pack of cigarettes.
Colonel Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Florida picks up the story there.
"The citizen called in to local law enforcement," said Lusczynski. "They responded, located the vehicle and subsequently engaged in a pursuit. The pursuit continued for a period of time until stop sticks were deployed and the vehicle came to rest."
After dozens of miles, Myers got out of the truck and began stabbing himself.
"Unfortunately, Ashley was injured. She was stabbed a number of times. She's currently in the hospital in stable condition," Lusczynski said.
"I knew she was in a lot of danger to hear that your daughter, your baby, was stabbed," said Roger Lyon the girl's father.
He says he's relieved his daughter is back and thanks social media and the Nancy Grace Show.
Police haven't interviewed Ashley but they are piecing together what they know.
"It was not an abduction. It was jointly planned," Lusczynski said. "It was a situation where a 41-year-old manipulated a 16-year-old."