Woman Escapes Alleged Kidnapper By Driving Erratically To Attract Cops
Police stopped the vehicle with spike strips, and the woman ran to safety.
BOZEMAN, MT — A Montana woman who was allegedly assaulted, slashed, and kidnapped by her vehicle passenger reportedly escaped to safety by driving wildly and setting off a police pursuit.
The suspect has been identified as Thomas James Lucero, 28. Police said the woman had been in a relationship with Lucero for several weeks.
The alleged victim told authorities that Lucero had been drinking heavily into the early hours of Tuesday morning. At around 2 A.M., she said, Lucero sexually assaulted her and cut her with multiple knives while threatening to kill her. The assault continued until 7:30 A.M. — when her alarm went off. Lucero reportedly then ordered the victim into her car and to drive him from her home in Helena to the city of Billings.
After two hours on the road, a patrol car noticed the woman’s vehicle weaving erratically on Highway 287. The deputy drove up behind the car and activated his lights and sirens. The driver failed to yield, however, and instead turned on to Interstate 90 — flashing her headlights and purposefully heading into oncoming traffic.
The victim later explained that she didn't think one officer would be enough to protect her, and that if she had stopped then, Lucero would have stabbed her before law enforcement was able to help.
The pursuing officer called in for assistance and, after about 10 miles, spike strips disabled the woman’s vehicle. Police say she then bolted out of the car to safety.
Responders immediately took Lucero into custody. He reportedly had bloodstains on his pants and shoes, and was in possession of a knife that he allegedly confessed to using to cut the woman. Investigators collected more blood evidence at the woman’s home.
Lucero has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault with a weapon. He is being held on $250,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court on Wednesday.
Read more: KPAX, Bozeman Daily Chronicle