A Franklin County woman who claimed she was assaulted by two men last weekend is refusing to talk to county deputies about the matter, authorities said.
During the investigation of those claims, however, two men and a woman were arrested Saturday following a police pursuit and are facing felony and misdemeanor charges unrelated to the alleged assault, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.
Relatives of a 19-year-old Union woman reported her missing Friday, Oct. 19, and the following day she showed up at the Franklin County Jail in reference to an outstanding warrant, Toelke said.
She appeared to be suffering from severe injuries and was taken to Mercy Hospital Washington where she was treated and later released.
The woman initially told deputies that she had walked away from a drug treatment facility in Hannibal Wednesday, Oct. 17, and contacted the two men to give her a ride home. She said on the way back to Franklin County, the men assaulted her in a remote area, then took her to a home in Pacific where she was assaulted again, according to the sheriff.
Officers obtained descriptions of the men and woman — all known to law enforcement — and later Saturday afternoon a county deputy spotted them in a car at Highway 100 and Jones Lane east of Washington.
Flee From Deputies
The deputy trailed the suspects to a home on Baker Street in Charring Cross subdivision at Villa Ridge where he attempted a traffic stop. The driver then backed up and drove behind the house and jumped out while the car was still moving and fled on foot. The woman then took the wheel and drove the car to a spot on Old Highway 100 where the other man jumped out and fled.
Deputies caught the second man after a brief foot chase and took him and the woman into custody. Other deputies searching for the first man who fled found him hiding in bushes near the old Tri-County Restaurant on Highway AT, the sheriff reported.
Inside the suspects’ vehicle deputies found property that had been reported stolen from a residence in the Labadie area.
The sheriff said the second man who fled on foot was in possession of a handgun that had been stolen in the burglary. He discarded the weapon during the foot chase but deputies later found it.
During questioning one of the suspects said the Union woman was assaulted but that she had been a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a train in St. Louis County then left the scene.
Deputies contacted St. Louis County police who confirmed that they were investigating a leaving the scene accident involving a train and a car, Sheriff Toelke said.
Justin L. Ridens, 27, Robertsville, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a felony.
Riddens and two other suspects, Tyler Kittrell, 26, Villa Ridge, and Tonya M. Gerlt, 28, Berger, are all charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest by fleeing.
Bond for Riddens and Kittrell was set at $50,000. Gerlt’s bond was set at $20,000, according to online court documents.
The suspects were arraigned Monday on the charges.
Toelke said deputies also arrested a 28-year-old Eureka man in the case. He was not involved in the chase and his name was not released, the sheriff said.