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W-B man is charged after womanâ??s kidnapping, chase


February 19. 2013 3:51PM
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WILKES-BARRE -- A city man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase Sunday after kidnapping a woman during a domestic dispute has been charged with aggravated assault and numerous other offenses.


Alexis Nunez, 40, of Sheridan Street, was taken into custody Sunday after leading several police departments on a chase in the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 81 near Moosic and Avoca.


During the chase, Nunez crossed the median of the interstate several times, twice driving in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic, according to an arrest affidavit. He was apprehended after state police deployed a spike strip near the Dupont exit that punctured the front tires of the vehicle.


According to arrest papers, the incident began around 2 p.m. when police were called to the area of 70 Sheridan St. for a report of a hostage situation. Police then received word that a third party had called 911 to say a man was holding a woman hostage inside a Dodge Caravan.


Dispatchers at 911 determined the phone call originated from a parking lot near the Big Lots store on Kidder Street. Officer Bernard Magagna arrived and spotted the suspect vehicle. Nunez got out of the vehicle and was ordered by police to stop. He then ran to the vehicle and sped off, attempting to ram a police cruiser operated by officer Alan Gribble.


Nunez drove onto Interstate 81 North with a woman, who appeared distraught, in the passenger seat. The chase continued on 81 North near the Moosic exit. Nunez drove over the median and began driving southbound in the northbound lane. He then traveled the wrong way down the entrance ramp from Moosic, circled around, and began traveling southbound in the northbound lane.


Nunez again crossed the median near the Avoca exit and began traveling south in the southbound lane until he reached the area of Wilkes-Barre Township. He crossed the median again and traveled north in the northbound lane until the vehicle was stopped by the spike strips.


A loaded shotgun was found between the front seats of the vehicle. The woman was recovered safely.


Nunez was arraigned Sunday night at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on one count each of kidnapping, aggravated assault, possession of a prohibited firearm, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, accidents involving damage to an attended vehicle and seven counts of reckless driving.


District Judge set Nunez's bail at $30,000 straight cash. He faces a preliminary hearing on Nov. 15 before District Judge Martin Kane, Wilkes-Barre.




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