Man gets 193 years to life in kidnapping, attempted rape after couple offered him food

TULARE, Calif. -- A judge sentenced a Tulare man to 193 years to life in prison for numerous violent crimes, including carjacking, kidnapping, and attempted rape.

Authorities said in June of 2015, a couple was dining at a fast food restaurant in Tulare when Miguel Michael Rodriguez, 33, sat in a booth beside them. After a conversation between the two, leftover food was offered to Rodriguez, which he declined and the couple then left.

The couple were in their car when, authorities said, Rodriguez approached them saying he had a gun, and told them to unlock the doors, which they did. After he got into the car, he told them to drive, took the boyfriend's cell phone, and then once they stopped, told him to get into the trunk.

Rodriguez then attempted to sexually assault the girlfriend. During the assault, the boyfriend used the escape mechanism in the trunk and attempted to free his companion. Rodriguez drove off with her before she could be rescued and took her to a secluded area and continued the assault.

Police were able to locate the vehicle using cell phone pings and the "Find My iPhone" app on the cell phone taken from the boyfriend.

Rodriguez was taken into custody by Tulare County sheriff's deputies, but the victim had escaped prior to law enforcement arrival and had been hiding in a tree.

"The terror this defendant put into his victims is unimaginable," said District Attorney Tim Ward. "I commend law enforcement for their quick thinking that led them to the defendant and district attorney staff who worked hard to make sure he spends the rest of his life in prison."
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