By: Freeman Klopott
Examiner Staff Writer
March 28, 2010
An Ethiopian immigrant will spend the next five years in prison for the role he played in kidnapping a Clinton bank employee and her family, and holding them hostage to get access to rob the bank. Yosef Tadele pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a kidnapping and helped prosecutors by testifying against his friend Yohannes Surafel, who coordinated the scheme, and a third man, Beruk Ayalneh. On Dec.
26, the three friends, who met at the Mountain Mission School in Virginia, followed a SunTrust Bank employee home after work, Tadele and Surafel admitted.
When she arrived home, the men forced the woman into her home. Once inside, they used an electric cord to tie up the woman, her husband and her two children, ages 11 and 8. The family stayed that way through the night. In the morning, authorities say, the men put the entire family in a car and ordered the woman’s husband to drive to the bank with Surafel in the car.
On the way, the husband noticed a state trooper and began swerving the car, causing the trooper to pull them over, prosecutors said. Once stopped, the husband overpowered Surafel and drew the trooper’s attention to his family’s circumstances.
Tadele was arrested on Dec. 28, 2008. Authorities believe Ayalneh fled the country, authorities said, and Surafel is scheduled to be sentenced April 30.