Assault, kidnap suspect leads police on multicounty chase

Franklin state police assisted in a high-speed chase involving a kidnapping Thursday night that spanned from New Castle into Erie County.

New Castle police said the incident began when officers were investigating an accident that occurred around 8:30 p.m.

Brandon Samuels, 24, of New Castle, had crashed into his 22-year-old girlfriend’s vehicle and damaged the driver’s side window, police said.

Samuels then physically dragged the woman, also of New Castle, out of her car and struck her, causing her to become unconscious, police said.

Samuels placed the woman in the passenger’s side of his vehicle and drove toward the Grove City area, police said.

When the woman regained consciousness, she placed a call to her sister near the Grove City Outlets, police said.

New Castle police were on the lookout for the Samuels’ vehicle, and a pursuit began on Interstate 79. The pursuit involved multiple police departments, including Franklin state police, and Samuels was apprehended near mile marker 179, police said.

The woman was treated for injuries at UPMC Jameson in New Castle and was released Thursday night, police said.

Samuels was charged with felony counts of aggravated assault and kidnap to inflict injury/terror, in addition to misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and accident involving damage to an attended vehicle.

He was arraigned and placed in the Lawrence County jail on $100,000 bail.