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BOZEMAN - A woman driving erratically on Highway 287 on Tuesday told police that she was trying to get their attention so she could safely escape from her kidnapper.

Court documents say that on Tuesday, Jan. 29, Gallatin and Broadwater County deputies pursued a vehicle that was swerving and flashing lights on Highway 287, headed toward Gallatin County, from the Townsend area.

Deputies used spike strips to disable the vehicle, at which point the driver got out and ran toward the officers asking for help.

The driver said the passenger was a man who'd assaulted her, raped her and held her at knifepoint. He'd allegedly demanded that she drive him to Billings, documents say.

The victim told police that every time he fell asleep on the drive, she would slow down, but he'd wake up and threaten her life if she didn't keep driving.

She said she was afraid the man would kill her if she didn't get the attention of multiple law enforcement officers, so she swerved and flashed the headlights lights.

She was taken to a hospital and treated for several bruises and fresh cuts.

The suspect, Thomas Lucero, told police that he'd drank alcohol the night before and started a fight with the victim over "loud music." 

Lucero is charged with assault with a weapon and aggravated kidnapping, both felonies.

He made an appearance before a Gallatin Co. District Court judge Wednesday morning and is currently being held in the Gallatin Co. Detention Center on a $250,000 bail.

According to the Clerk of Court, the judge ordered Lucero to have no contact with the alleged victim in any way.

A preliminary hearing for this case is scheduled for Feb. 22.

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