Florida man suspected of kidnapping girlfriend surrenders after 20-hour standoff

UPDATE: After barricading himself in a home for over 20 hours, suspect James Savage has now surrendered to deputies. FOX 35 has a crew on-scene that will provide updates as they develop.

A man suspected of tackling his then-girlfriend and throwing her inside a vehicle in Sumter County has barricaded himself inside a home in The Villages, Florida, leading to an hours-long standoff with police and law enforcement.

James Savage, the suspect, is accused of punching and tackling his then-girlfriend, 60-year-old Marivel Dunn, outside a home late Thursday night, and forcing her inside a vehicle before driving off, according to the Wildwood Police Department. Dunn was found safe on Friday morning. Savage was found barricaded inside a home in Wildwood, Florida, on the north end of The Villages.

The home is in the area of Southeast 174th Belhaven Loop, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

Several law enforcement vehicles, including local police, sheriff's office deputies, and the S.W.A.T. team, have been out at the house for hours.

Around 3 p.m. Friday, a person who identified himself as Savage called the FOX 35 newsroom. During the 30-minute phone call, which was difficult to follow at times, Savage discussed a variety of topics. FOX 35 immediately contacted law enforcement.

Alleged kidnapping caught on home surveillance, police say

The alleged kidnapping was captured on home surveillance video, which was later released by the police department on its Facebook page. You can view it in the video player above. Warning: The nature of the video may be disturbing to some viewers.

"Get in the car and shut up," Savage is heard telling Dunn multiple times. 

Marivel Dunn was kidnapped from a residence in Wildwood on March 14, 2024. (Photo: Wildwood Police Department)

James Savage is accused of kidnapping Marivel Dunn on March 14, 2024. (Photo: Wildwood Police Department)

Savage, who drives a 2018 Mercedes-Benz S series with Florida tag MNMBENZ, allegedly fled the area before law enforcement arrived at the Wildwood residence. The Mercedes-Benz was last seen heading toward Marion County on U.S. 301, passing County Road 102, at around 10:23 p.m. on Thursday. 

The Mercedes-Benz was located on Friday morning, but Savage and Dunn were not with the vehicle, police said.

Police said at the time that they might have been traveling in Dunn's vehicle, a 2020 black BMW 330i with Florida tag CD60JE, or on foot. 

Police said Dunn and Savage were last known to be in a "domestic relationship" and have lived together at a few unverified locations. They both have ties to Sumter, Marion and Palm Beach counties. 

Their phones were turned off, according to police.