Lester Stanley Austin III

Tempe police are asking for the public's help in locating a 34-year-old man investigators say tried to kill a woman by choking her and threatening her with a knife.

The man, who police identified as Lester Stanley Austin III, and his friend Michael Walls met the woman at the Walgreens pharmacy at Mill Avenue and Broadway Road at noon Monday moments before she got inside their 2002 purple Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Arizona License Plate No. 352-ZEG.

As the trio was traveling along a highway, Austin and Walls started arguing over property and Austin began assaulting the woman and held a knife to her throat, according to police.

As the vehicle came down an exit ramp, the woman kicked a window out of the car, jumped out of the moving vehicle and was able to run to a nearby house for help.

Walls was arrested on Wednesday in Tolleson on suspicion of kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Austin is facing attempted murder charges.

Police said Austin is black, about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds with brown eyes and short hair. He also has a scar on his right side from his back that stretches to his stomach.

Austin also has tattoos on his arms and chest.

Anyone with information can call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.

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