The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 6, 2013

Preliminary hearing set for kidnapping suspect

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — A preliminary hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Ashtabula Municipal Court for Eugene Falls, the 37-year-old Geneva man accused of carjacking and kidnapping a young woman late Saturday night in Ashtabula.

Falls faces five felony counts of kidnapping, robbery and failure to comply, as well as two felony counts of theft, according to a court spokeswoman. Bond, originally set by a magistrate on Monday morning, was increased to $300,000 cash/surety by Judge Albert Camplese, the spokeswoman said.

Police said Falls jumped into a vehicle parked at a Lake Avenue Circle K store around 11 p.m. Saturday, while the driver was in the store, speeding away with the driver’s 23-year-old female passenger. The vehicle was located two hours later by an Ashtabula County sheriff’s deputy in the area of Interstate 90 and Route 11. The driver led officers on a slippery, high-speed chase through stop signs that ended in Ashtabula Township when the vehicle slid off the road in the area of East 51st Street and Osborne Avenue. The driver, later identified as Falls, was arrested after a brief foot pursuit, deputies said.

The woman was “traumatized” and went to the hospital, but suffered no injuries, police have said.