Driver leads police on Turnpike chase

September 6, 2009 3:49:09 PM PDT
A woman who led state police on a three-hour, 150-mile chase along the New Jersey Turnpike was holding a female passenger against her will, police said Sunday. A 54-year-old Jersey City woman called police Saturday night and told them that Eleanor Valdenarro would not let her out of the SUV, which was on the Turnpike in Mercer County and headed south.

State troopers found the vehicle and followed it to the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge when Valdenarro, 44, of Dumont, refused to pull over. She then turned around and headed back north, while officers stayed on the phone with the passenger, police said.

At one point, Valdenarro threatened to crash the SUV if officers interfered, police said.

Troopers followed Valdenarro as she left the turnpike at Exit 14A and drove to a business in Bayonne, police said. She stopped the vehicle and was taken into custody around 11 p.m., spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said. The passenger was not harmed.

Jones said the women "were acquainted" but declined to elaborate on their relationship.

Valdenarro was charged with criminal restraint, making terroristic threats and eluding police. She was being held Sunday on $23,000 bail in Hudson County Jail. Jail officials did not know if Valdenarro had an attorney.

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