Held at Gunpoint Example - Photo courtesy of Tima Miroscnichenko on Pexels

A preliminary hearing is set Friday for a man accused of abducting a Lake Elsinore motorist at gunpoint and forcing the victim to drive him over 25 miles before letting him go.

Jerry Frias Tolentino of Menifee was arrested last month following a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigation.

Tolentino is charged with kidnapping, carjacking, hit-and-run resulting in property damage and sentence-enhancing gun use allegations.

The preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial on all or some of the counts.

Tolentino is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center.

The defendant allegedly confronted the motorist, whose identity was not disclosed, in the area of Railroad Canyon Road and Summerhill Drive shortly before 8 a.m. on April 21, according to sheriff’s investigators.

Sgt. Jeff Reese alleged that Tolentino flashed a gun and ordered the man to head north, though the specific route wasn’t provided.

Reese said that the victim followed Tolentino’s commands, driving him into Corona, where the defendant got out of the car and left on foot.

The motorist, who was not injured, contacted the sheriff’s department, providing details that deputies used to initiate a search, culminating in the defendant being located and taken into custody without incident on North Lemon Street in Orange about 5 p.m. on April 22, according to the sergeant.

There was no information regarding the misdemeanor hit-and-run allegation.

Tolentino has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

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