Galax man charged with kidnapping

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Two individuals were reportedly held at gunpoint as suspect attempted to flee from law enforcement


A Galax man has been charged with the abduction of two individuals by gunpoint, following an eight-hour pursuit by Pulaski County police officers.

Matthew Ray Russell, 33, of Galax, was arrested on Saturday morning by the Pulaski officers and charged with two counts of abduction, the police department confirmed in an article published in the Pulaski Patriot.

The charges came after Russell allegedly held two people at gunpoint for about eight hours followed by a pursuit as he attempted to escape custody.

At 6:22 a.m., officers responded to a disturbance call in the 100 block of Prince Avenue for a possible abduction. Two people had called the police, stating they had been held the previous night at gunpoint by Russell. Cpl. A.S Thompson found a vehicle matching a victim’s description at the scene.

The vehicle pulled away as Thompson approached, only to run into a nearby creek bed. Russell emerged from the vehicle and fled the scene into the woods behind Cool Springs Pond.

Pulaski officers called for Virginia State Police K-9 assistance after setting up a perimeter around the area. The K-9 unit tracked Russell about a quarter of a mile from the scene, hiding in thick underbrush. He was taken into custody with no additional struggle. Two firearms were found in the investigation.

Russell was treated and released at Lewis Gale Hospital-Pulaski for injuries he told the officers about, and was then charged and taken to the New River Valley Regional Jail, where he being held without bond.

The vehicle, a truck, and the firearms were reported stolen in Allegheny County, N.C. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Assisting the Pulaski Police Department were the Virginia State Police, Pulaski County Animal Control, Regional Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (REMSI) and Pulaski Fire Department.