A former Wilmington Police Department cadet has been indicted in New Hanover and Brunswick counties in connection with reportedly kidnapping his family and leading authorities on an hourlong vehicle chase through Wilmington in February.
Jairo Agustin Checo, 34, of Leland, was indicted by a New Hanover County grand jury on March 9, charged with three counts of first-degree kidnapping, felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and first-degree trespassing, according to court records.
He has been charged in connection with a vehicle chase that began at 5:20 a.m. Feb. 12, when Wilmington police responded to the area of Second and Chestnut streets after they reportedly received a call from Checo, who had allegedly taken his wife and two children hostage and was threatening to kill them, police spokeswoman Linda Rawley said.
Officers pursued Checo through Wilmington for about an hour until the chase ended in a parking lot at police headquarters, 615 Bess St., Rawley said. Wilmington police Sgt. Matt Ingram fired multiple shots when Checo entered the gated parking lot, but no one was injured.
Ingram, who has been employed with the police department since 1999, was placed on paid leave following the incident, Rawley said. He returned to duty on March 5.
The day after the vehicle chase, detectives with the Leland Police Department charged Checo with three counts of second-degree kidnapping, assault by strangulation and assault on a female. According to a news release from the Leland Police Department, the incident began in Brunswick County.
A Brunswick County grand jury indicted Checo as charged March 23, according to indictments.
Checo was employed with the Wilmington Police Department from July 2007 until November 2007 as a cadet in the Basic Law Enforcement Training program.
He is being held at the New Hanover County jail under a $1 million secured bond.
Christina Haley is a crime and courts reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6337 or email@example.com.