A convicted felon accused of forcing his girlfriend to drive away with him during a domestic squabble and holding the woman against her will while leading Corona police on a multi-city pursuit through western Riverside County was charged Friday with kidnapping and other offenses.
Miguel Angel Romero, 35, was arrested Tuesday night after the alleged abduction and chase.
Along with the kidnapping count, Romero is charged with carjacking, felony evading, domestic battery and hit-and-run resulting in property damage.
He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment before Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Jackson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 15 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Romero is being held in lieu of $260,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to Corona police Sgt. Chad Fountain, the defendant and his girlfriend got into an argument about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at her residence in the 800 block of West Olive Street, culminating in Romero allegedly grabbing the victim by her hair and pulling her into her car.
Witnesses immediately called 911 and told police that “Romero threatened to use a gun” if anyone tried to intervene, Fountain said.
Officers swarmed the area and spotted the vehicle, with the defendant at the wheel and the victim in the front passenger seat, according to the sergeant.
“A traffic stop was initiated, but Romero refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit,” Fountain said. “The pursuit reached speeds up to 120 mph and went from Corona to Lake Elsinore, to Norco, and ultimately ended back in Corona in the 800 block of La Cadena Lane, where the suspect attempted to flee.”
Fountain alleged that Romero ran into the backyard of a home and tried to force his way inside but was confronted by officers.
When the defendant refused commands to surrender and started “reaching his right hand deep into his waistband,” a police canine was released to take him down, the sergeant said.
Patrolmen subdued Romero, who was treated for minor injuries before being booked into jail.
The woman, whose identity was not released, was found in the vehicle uninjured, according to Fountain.
No firearm was located in the car, or in the defendant’s possession.
According to court records, Romero has a felony conviction in another jurisdiction, but the offense was not specified.
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