Man charged with kidnapping eludes Ga. police

October 26, 1991|By Roger Twigg

With helicopters buzzing overhead, more than 100 law enforcement officers swarmed over 200 acres in the town of Greensboro, Ga., last night, searching for a 24-year-old Baltimore man charged with kidnapping his estranged wife as she walked to a city subway station Tuesday.

The FBI and the Greene County sheriff's office and police department, aided by dogs, searched back yards, several industrial areas and a wooded tract of land alongside residential neighborhoods for Wade Morris Lucas Jr. of the 1900 block of Woodlawn Drive.

They gave up the search about 8 p.m. and planned to resume with daylight today.

Tara S. McEntyre, a 22-year-old clerk in the Baltimore state's attorney's office, was in good condition last night in Putnam Hospital in Eatonton, Ga., recovering from a gunshot wound she suffered in an escape attempt early yesterday morning.

Ms. McEntyre's four-day ordeal began Tuesday when her estranged husband forced her into a car as she was on her way to work.

It ended about 5 a.m. yesterday when the two stopped for gas at the Waffle House on Main Street in Greensboro, a golfing communityabout 40 miles southeast of Atlanta, law enforcement officials said.

"She must have decided to try and get away from the guy at that point so she ran from the car into the restaurant for refuge," said Jim Dearborn, a spokesman for the Baltimore office of the FBI.

Ms. McEntyre told restaurant employees that she had been kidnapped and asked them to contact authorities. When three patrol cars from the Greene County Sheriff's Department arrived, Ms. McEntyre ran out of the restaurant, unaware that her estranged husband was near the back door of the building, a few feet away, with a handgun, authorities said.

As Ms. McEntyre jumped into the passenger side of one of the patrol cars, shots were fired. One shattered a window of the patrol car and struck Ms. McEntyre in the left hip, he said.

A sheriff's deputy drove off with the shooting victim and took her to the hospital. Other deputies in patrol cars searched for the gunman, who was last seen running into the woods by the restaurant.

Mr. Lucas, who police said was recently laid off from a construction job, is believed to be armed with a 9mm pistol.

He has been charged in city and federal warrants with kidnapping and the interstate flight to avoid prosecution, officials said.

Police allege that Mr. Lucas kidnapped his estranged wife as she was walking to the subway station in the 2500 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway. Ms. McEntyre was forced to travel by car with Mr. Lucas to Florida and eventually Georgia, police said.

A 1991 black Maxima the two had been traveling in was found at the restaurant. Police say it was stolen.

Ms. McEntyre attempted to alert authorities of her whereabouts earlier in the week when she left her state's attorney's office identification in a woman's restroom in Jacksonville, Fla., and scrawled "Help me. Call Baltimore police 911," on a mirror with lipstick.

Before that, Baltimore authorities had speculated that Mr. Lucas was taking his estranged wife to Niagara Falls. They had spent their honeymoon there earlier this year.

They were married in January but separated last month.

Ms. McEntyre was under police guard at the hospital.

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