Man Wanted in Kidnapping and Assault

(Harford County, MD – April 12, 2009) – Harford County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for Joseph Manford Criss, 28, of the 700 block of Roland Avenue, Bel Air, MD for a kidnapping and assault that occurred earlier this morning.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. the female victim, 22, from Forest Hill, MD agreed to meet with her ex-boyfriend Joseph Manford Criss. Criss picked her up at her residence and an argument ensued shortly thereafter in a nearby parking lot. The victim became uncomfortable and asked to be driven home, Criss refused. She then attempted to use a cell phone to dial 911 and while doing so was bitten on the left hand by Criss, leaving a large bruise. As Criss was driving on I-95 towards Baltimore County, he punched her several times in the face. He eventually stopped his truck in the Golden Ring Shopping Center parking lot where he sexually assaulted her. After the sexual assault the victim attempted to get away from Criss, however, he threatened her with bodily harm if she did not get back into the vehicle, so she complied. Criss then pulled into a WAWA located in the 8700 block of Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD to purchase a lighter. As they pulled into the parking lot the victim jumped out of the vehicle, entered the store, and dialed 911.

Baltimore County Police and Emergency Medical Services responded. The victim was then transported by Baltimore County Medic #16 to Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) for non-life threatening injuries.

A warrant has been issued charging Criss with Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, and Assault in the 2nd Degree. Charges are pending in Baltimore County for the Sexual Assault. He is described as 6’01” tall, 170 lbs, with red hair and green eyes. Criss was last seen driving his 1994 green Ford Ranger pick up truck displaying Maryland registration 06W-158. He is known to frequent the Cecil County area.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at 410-838-6600 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587). To text a message to Metro Crime Stoppers, send to "CRIMES" (274637), then enter the message starting with "MCS," then add the information. Those contacting Metro Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

News Release

April 12, 2009


  • Sgt. David Betz
  • Monica A. Worrell

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