A 51-year-old Ardmore man is behind bars facing multiple charges after the 24-year-old woman he allegedly kidnapped — not once, but twice — managed to escape Thursday and flag down an Ardmore police officer.
First Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper on Friday filed charges for the second time in a week against Mario Martin Cruz in Carter County District Court. Felony charges filed Tuesday accuse Cruz of domestic abuse/assault and battery and kidnapping. Friday’s felony charges include another kidnapping, as well as domestic assault and battery by strangulation and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. In addition, Cruz is charged with stalking, a misdemeanor. All the charges seek enhanced penalties based on prior criminal convictions.
Sgt. Bobby Moore, Ardmore Police Department Criminal Investigations Division, said the victim, who was covered in bruises, flagged down Officer Darren Culley in a northeast side neighborhood. She told Culley that Cruz had held her at a residence located at 614 A St. NE since June 15.
An arrest warrant was issued for Cruz. Officers went to the residence and took him into custody without incident. He was booked into the Carter County Detention Center pending formal charges.
Cruz is accused of kidnapping the victim June 11 and “punching her in the head, neck and chest, and dragging her by the hair.” In the most recent set of charges, Cruz is charged with strangling the victim and threatening her with a gun during the second kidnapping. If convicted of all five charges, Cruz could face more than 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
The defendant made an initial appearance in district court Friday afternoon. Special District Judge Thomas Baldwin set bond at $100,000 and ordered Cruz to have no contact with the victim. A preliminary conference is set for July 29.
However, Cruz’s criminal charges don’t end in Carter County. According to CCSD records, he is also wanted in Uvalde, Texas. He currently remains detained pending the posting of bond and a “hold” placed on the Texas warrant.