2009-08-07 / Top Stories

Local Takes Hostage On 49-Hour, Two-State Chase

Charged With Kidnapping, Assault
By Howard Schwach

Dwayne Saunders in a photo provided by the Nassau County Police Department. Dwayne Saunders in a photo provided by the Nassau County Police Department. A Far Rockaway man has been charged in a Nassau County court with abducting his ex-girlfriend and taking her on a two-day jaunt that moved from Uniondale to Atlantic City (New Jersey) and then to Queens last week.

Police say that the incident started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, when Dwayne Saunders, 29, of Beach Channel Drive, abducted his unidentified 21-year-old ex-girlfriend from a vocational school that she attended in Uniondale, Long Island.

Witnesses told Nassau County detectives that the woman had been forced into the back seat of a black SUV.

After not hearing from her daughter, the girl's mother went to the school early on Wednesday morning. When she was told that her daughter did not attend school on Tuesday, she called police.

Police questioned the woman's mother and several students and quickly determined that they were looking for Saunders.

Officials say that the woman broke off a relationship with Saunders just days before the abduction.

A Nassau County police official told reporters that he feared for the girl because Saunders had previous arrests for assault.

The victim called her mother on Wednesday afternoon, telling her that she was being held in the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City and that Saunders had beaten her.

She also reportedly called some friends to tell them what was going on.

By the time Atlantic City police officers got to the Tropicana, however, the two were back on the road, heading for Queens.

On Wednesday evening, Saunders led New York City police officers, who were on the lookout for his car, on a high-speed chase through parts of Jamaica and Flushing.

He and the woman abandoned the car and fled on foot.

Nassau County detectives, aided by NYPD officers, finally tracked Saunders and the woman to a motel in Flushing, near St. John's University. He was arrested coming out of the motel. In a room, police found the woman with injuries to her face and neck, including two black eyes and a broken nose. Police said that she was not bound when she was rescued.

Saunders was arraigned in Hempstead Court on charges of kidnapping and assault.

He pled not guilty and is due back in court next week.

The woman was taken to an area hospital, where she was treated and released.

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