Man tried to kidnap tourist at knifepoint at Orlando airport, police say

Damani Matthews, 24, arrested at Orlando International Airport

ORLANDO, Fla. – Police arrested a man Sunday after he was accused of attacking and assaulting a woman inside a bathroom at Orlando International Airport, according to the department.

According to an arrest report, Damani Matthews, 24, faces charges of felony attempted kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after the Sunday morning incident.

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Police said the victim, a 30-year-old tourist, was eating breakfast at McCoy’s Bar & Grill at the Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport, before she got up to use the restroom.

The report shows after exiting the bathroom stall, the victim began to wash her hands and Matthews appeared behind her. Investigators said Matthews had a knife and placed the woman in a chokehold.

Officers said the woman was able to break free from the suspect, despite him telling her not to scream for help. Law enforcement said Matthews had a black backpack already inside the stall he was attempting to drag the woman into.

A hostess at McCoy’s Restaurant told detectives the victim ran out of the bathroom screaming for help.

According to the report, Hyatt Regency security officers were able to detain Matthews as he exited the bathroom and Orlando police took him into custody.

Arrest records show the victim had a 3 inch cut consistent with a knife wound. The victim also told detectives “she was scared for her life.”

Orlando police said there was a similar incident that took place on Saturday, and detectives are investigating if the incidents are related.

According to court documents, Matthews is homeless and on felony probation for a previous battery conviction.

This also comes after a string of arrests at the airport, including a drunken woman who led police on a chase throughout OIA on a motorized suitcase and a drunk man who was shocked by a Taser after attacking a woman and her children.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.