CANTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police say a local woman jumped from a moving vehicle on Interstate 70 in Washington County after she was kidnapped.
Police say at one point, the suspect threatened to shoot his estranged girlfriend and throw her body down a mine shaft.
The victim told police she was beaten and sexually assaulted by John Edward Gallo at her Canton Township apartment over the weekend.
A neighbor who did not want to be identified said she saw the couple in the parking lot.
“He was beating her, choking her and slamming his head on his own car,” the neighbor told KDKA-TV.
She watched Gallo force the woman to a car and then leave.
“They [were] arguing and she – I guess she tried to get away from him and as she did, he grabbed her out the car and then she tried to run up the street and he started beating her again, started choking her and threw her in the car and tried to take off.”
A short distance away, the victim jumped out of the car while it was still moving near the intersection of I-70 and West Chestnut.
Police say Gallo stopped and tried to force her back into the car, but he was confronted by a passing motorist.
“He actually stated that the male had the female by the hair and was shoving her back into the car which was when he pulled her off of him and the male ran around and got back in the vehicle and left the scene,” North Franklin Police Officer Lindsi Kopko said.
Officer Kopko responded to the 911 call.
“She seemed disoriented. She had some cuts and scrapes and several bruises and a brush burn on her knee,” she said. “She was obviously very traumatized from what had occurred.”
Police say Gallo is being charged with rape, kidnapping and assault.
Gallo was last seen heading east down I-70 in a green Chrysler Sebring.
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