The Queens man who allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend from Uniondale on Tuesday was set off by her attempts at ending their relationship, Nassau police said Friday.
When the victim’s mother reported that she was missing for 24 hours, police began an around-the-clock investigation that tracked the two from Atlantic City, NJ and back with a high-speed chase in New York City prior to the suspect’s capture on Thursday.
Dwayne Saunders, 29, of Far Rockaway, confronted the 23-year-old woman he had been dating for about a year and a half while she was at a vocational school on Tuesday and the conversation turned into a heated argument, according to Chief of Detectives Steve Skrynecki. Saunders, upset that the victim had ended the relationship and was sent into a jealous rage when he found out that she had changed her cell phone number, he said. Witnesses told police that the victim was last seen being pulled into a black SUV.
“Investigators spent the night beating the bushes,” Skrynecki said. One of the first leads came when the victim briefly called her mother from the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City and told her that she had been beaten, he said. New Jersey State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations assisted the investigation at that point. By Wednesday evening, police tracked Saunders back to New York City, where he allegedly lost New York City Police officers in a brief pursuit before he ditched the rental car he was driving, according to Skrynecki.
“She is what we consider a victim of domestic violence and domestic violence syndrome” because she was afraid to report prior assaults, but she did have Saunders arrested once before, Skrynecki said. Although there did not appear to be a sexual assault, she did suffer black eyes, facial swelling and a possible broken nose, he added.
“It’s a difficult call for a woman in that position,” he said of her attempts to reach out for help without further enraging her abductor, adding that handled herself well in this case. First Squad and Fugitive Squad detectives along with Bureau of Special Operations officers apprehended Saunders Thursday morning at a motel in Queens near St. John’s University and rescued the victim.
Saunders has a rap sheet that includes violent crimes, drugs and an unlawful imprisonment of another woman in New York City, Skrynecki said. It was unclear what he does for work, but investigators said he had $6,000 cash on him at the time. He was charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.