A 31-year-old man is accused of kidnapping a woman and driving her vehicle around Clark County until she jumped from the moving SUV to get help.
Jeremy A. Alexksa, no address listed, appeared Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, attempting to elude and reckless driving. Judge Robert Lewis set his bail at $750,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 16.
Alexksa refused to identify himself to the judge Tuesday morning after also refusing to give his name to Clark County sheriff’s deputies over the weekend. Deputy Prosecutor Julie Carmena told Lewis that prosecutors believe they identified the defendant as Alexksa.
Carmena had asked he be held on $1 million bail out of concern that Alexksa’s refusal to identify himself showed he would not comply with court directives.
Deputies responded at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday to the 24000 block of Northeast 28th Street near Camas for a trespassing report. The caller said a woman was banging on the door saying she had jumped from a moving vehicle after being kidnapped in Vancouver. Deputies found a woman in the front yard of the home, clearly in distress, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The woman told deputies that at about 7 p.m. Friday, she was checking her mail at her house in the Harney Heights neighborhood when a man, later identified as Alexksa, approached her and asked for a ride to a gas station. She drove him to a nearby Arco station, 2829 E. Mill Plain Blvd., according to a probable cause affidavit.
Once they arrived, she said Alexksa pulled out a 3-inch knife and held it to her leg. He told her to move to the passenger’s seat, and he got in the driver’s seat, she said. He sped away and continued to drive around Clark County, court records state.
She told deputies she jumped from the SUV three times, but she got back inside twice because she was worried about her vehicle and her purse and cellphone inside, the affidavit states.
Alexksa drove them down a deserted road, and she asked him if he was going to kill her; he didn’t respond, she said. That’s when she jumped from the car and ran toward the house near Camas, according to the affidavit.
Deputies observed dirt on the woman’s pants and scrapes on her elbows. She also wasn’t wearing any shoes, court records state.
Deputies spotted the woman’s Kia Sportage at about 5:15 a.m. Saturday near Northeast 28th Street and 222nd Avenue. They attempted to stop it, but the driver fled, court records state. Eventually, deputies, with the help of Vancouver police, pinned the vehicle about 10 minutes later near Northeast Second Street and 115th Avenue in east Vancouver, according to the news release.
Alexksa was arrested, and deputies found the woman’s shoes inside the car, along with her purse and cellphone, the affidavit states.