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Suspects arrested on Causeway for kidnapping Metairie 17-year-old identified

The suspects kidnapped a 17-year-old and fled from authorities through multiple parishes

METAIRIE, La. — We now know the names of the suspects arrested on the Causeway Saturday for kidnapping. 

It's still not clear what their full motive was, but we do know they led police on a day-long chase.

"A friend of ours birthday party on the Northshore and while we were traveling northbound, my wife and I saw a white Chevy Traverse coming up super-fast in the left lane and just blew by us. We thought, 'man these people are crazy, they are going so fast.,'" said Lakeview resident Ryan Hughes who was driving on the Causeway when he witnessed the pursuit.

"Right after I saw a cop car and I was like, 'oh they are getting caught,' then I saw another one and another one and another one and there was no less than 15 or 20 cop cars that passed us in pursuit of that car."

He saw the end of a police chase, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. It was an all-day pursuit that started around 7 a.m. when a 40-year-old man called 911 from his apartment on Hessmer Avenue in Metairie, a few blocks from Lakeside Mall. 

According to JPSO, several people forced their way inside the apartment and demanded money. The suspects searched the apartment and then kidnapped a 17-year-old boy.

JPSO, the U.S. Marshals Office, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office, and Louisiana State Police teamed up to search for the suspects, eventually finding them in New Orleans East.

When police approached them the suspects drove off and led officers on a pursuit and onto the Causeway.  

JPSO said it was on the Causeway around 6:30 Saturday evening when the suspects' car was disabled. All four suspects were arrested and the missing teenager was in the car. He's expected to fully recover from minor injuries.

"I mean, they had guns drawn," Hughes said. 

JPSO identified the suspects as 18-year-old Michelle Mayorga from Kenner, 18-year-old Nelson Ruiz-Fredrick from New Orleans, 21-year-old Eduardo Jose Ponce-Nunez, and a 17-year-old boy. 

They were all booked on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and aggravated flight of an officer.

"I started seeing people on the side of the road in handcuffs and then one by one they had each of the four suspects in custody in handcuffs and they walked them all past us," Hughes said.

Hughes said he wasn't stopped on the Causeway for long as police quickly arrested the suspects and reopened the bridge.

"The whole fiasco lasted maybe 30 minutes and they cleared everything out," Hughes said.

At this point, it is still unclear if the suspects and victims knew each other and what the motive was.

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