A man suspected of abducting his cheerleader girlfriend after killing a teenage boy in New Jersey led police on a high-speed chase across New Mexico and slammed into a police roadblock, where he was captured, authorities said Wednesday.
The girl had been pushed from the getaway car in Groom, Texas, where she notified police. She was slightly injured but in good condition and did not need to be hospitalized, New Jersey police said.Michael Ardila, 19, was arrested at 8:52 p.m. Tuesday and locked up at the Guadalupe County Jail on a New Jersey warrant naming him as the suspect who fatally stabbed Anthony Pompelio, 17, of Sparta, N.J., on Sunday, New Mexico State Police dispatcher Scott Simpson said.
"We came into contact with him about 8 p.m. and pursued him about 70 miles at high speed, around 100 mph," Simpson said. "We pretty much followed him until he got to our roadblock and when he tried to run it, he rolled the vehicle."
Ardila, an unemployed resident of Sussex, N.J., was taken to a hospital emergency room in the desert town of Santa Rosa but he was not seriously hurt, Simpson said.
The maroon 1988 Jeep Cherokee he was driving - allegedly stolen from Pompelio's father - had New Jersey license plates and fit the description of the getaway car Ardila allegedly used after the killing, Simpson said.
Ardila had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt since Sunday, when Pompelio, a high school senior in Sparta and a former wrestler, was found dead the morning after an unsupervised overnight teenage party at another teenager's home in Sparta, police said. Popmelio had been stabbed seven times.
Ardila allegedly fled in the Jeep with Donna Shaban, 17, a Sparta High School cheerleader he had been dating, Sparta police said.
Classmates of Shaban and a friend of Ardila's said they had met at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.