Alleged child abduction becomes high-speed chase in upstate NY town: officials

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – An upstate New York man was taken into custody after allegedly abducting a child before taking police on a high-speed chase Tuesday.

According to the law enforcement officials, police received word to “Be On the Look Out” for a suspect involved in an assault and child kidnapping in upstate’s Chemung County.

At about 12:44 p.m. officers with the Watkins Glen Police Department located the vehicle and conducted a stop. According to officials, officers located the missing girl in the backseat, and said the driver “was immediately uncooperative with officers and refused to speak to officers and refused to exit the vehicle.”

Officers attempted to gain entry in the car to remove the child when the driver fled the scene, hitting an officer and continuing to drive northbound in the village.

The pursuit continued north on Route 14 at over 100 mph into Yates County, where New York State Police and the Yates County Sheriff’s Office joined in the pursuit.

A Yates County Deputy was able to deploy stop sticks in the roadway ahead of the pursuit, in an attempt to apprehend the driver, who soon lost control of the vehicle and went off the roadway and into a ditch.

The driver, Richard Somers II, was then taken into custody, and members of the Watkins Glen Police Department removed the child from the vehicle and brought her to safety. The child suffered what appeared to be minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for an evaluation, as a precaution, officials said.

Somers II, 35, of Elmira Heights, was arrested following the high-speed police chase. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, obstructing governmental administration, reckless driving, unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, and speeding.

The pursuit lasted nearly 20 miles, with speeds at over 100 mph nearly the entire time.

A Watkins Glen Police patrol car and NYSP patrol car were deemed disabled once the pursuit ended, and both cars needed to be towed from the scene.

Police said further charges are pending and that Somers was released to the custody of the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office to face further charges.

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