Elmira Heights man charged following Watkins Glen police chase, child abduction

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – Richard R. Somers II, 35, of Elmira Heights, was arrested following a high-speed police chase that began in Schuyler County involving a young child who reportedly abducted.

According to the Watkin Glen Police Office, law enforcement received word to “Be On the Look Out” for a suspect involved in an assault and child kidnapping in Chemung County.

At about 12:44 p.m. officers with the Watkins Glen Police Department located the vehicle and conducted a stop on North Franklin Street. Officers located the girl in the backseat and say the driver, identified as Somers, “was immediately uncooperative with officers and refused to speak to officers and refused to exit the vehicle.”

Officers attempted to gain entry in the car to remove the child when the driver fled the scene, hitting an officer and continuing northbound in the village.

The pursuit continued north on Route 14 at over 100 MPH into Yates County where New York State Police and the Yates County Sheriff’s Office joined in the pursuit.

A Yates County Deputy was able to deploy stop sticks in the roadway ahead of the pursuit, in an attempt to apprehend Somers, who soon lost control of the vehicle and went off the roadway and into a ditch. Somers was then taken into custody as members of the Watkins Glen Police Department removed the child from the vehicle and brought her to safety. The child suffered what appeared to be minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for an evaluation, as a precaution.

A Watkins Glen Police patrol car and NYSP patrol car were deemed disabled once the pursuit ended, and both cars needed to be towed from the scene.

The pursuit lasted nearly 20 miles at over 100mph nearly the entire time.

The Watkins Glen Police Department charged Richard with Endangering the welfare of a child, a class A Misdemeanor; Obstructing Governmental Administration in the 2nd degree, a class A misdemeanor; Reckless Driving, and Unclassified Misdemeanor; Unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in the 3rd degree, a class A Misdemeanor; and Speed in Zone, 91mph in a posted 30mph zone.

Police say further charges are pending and that Somers was released to the custody of the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office to face further charges.

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