Leland police pursue warrants for additional charges in hostage, chase incident

Leland police pursue warrants for additional charges in hostage, chase incident
Jairo Checo (Source: NHCSO)
Jairo Checo (Source: NHCSO)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Leland Police Department is following up on a a situation involving a Brunswick County woman and her children taken hostage that ended at the Wilmington Police Department early Thursday.

Deputies with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office initially responded to the call, and now Leland Police are pursuing warrants for three counts of kidnapping, one count of assault by strangulation, and one count of domestic assault on a female against Jario Checo, 34 of Leland.

These warrants are in addition to charges from New Hanover County of three counts of first degree kidnapping, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, assault with a weapon on a law enforcement officer, felony speeding to elude arrest, and first degree trespassing.

Court officials revealed the details of the arrest warrants which show the child abuse charges stem from Checo leading officers on a chase and his vehicle hitting a patrol car, "creating a situation in which an officer discharged his firearm in the immediate vicinity of [the two children]."

Warrants show the trespassing charge comes from Checo reportedly being on non-public portions of the Wilmington Police Department. The assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer stem from Checo reportedly colliding his vehicle into the vehicle driven by a law enforcement office.

According to officials, Checo called police from his brown GMC Terrain around 5:20 a.m. Thursday saying he had taken his wife and children hostage and were threatening to kill them.

Officers rushed to the scene at Second and Chestnut streets and pursued the vehicle throughout the city and county for more than an hour.

Crews from the WPD, New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, State Highway Patrol and EMS were involved in the pursuit.

Police say the vehicle eventually headed towards the Wilmington Police Department and stopped at the rear of the headquarters. Checo exited the vehicle and refused to comply with officers. Multiple shots were fired by Wilmington police officers, but no one was hit.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident.

Checo was employed by the Wilmington Police Department from July 2, 2007 until November 1, 2007 as a Cadet in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy. Wilmington police officials say an internal investigation is underway.

The City of Wilmington filed a motion to seal the 911 calls from the incident citing a need for law enforcement to fully evaluate the contents of the calls. A judge granted the motion and the 911 calls and all other emergency traffic related to the case will remain sealed until 5 p.m. on Feb. 17.

According to Linda Rawley, Public Affairs Officer with the Wilmington Police Department, the 911 tapes and more details of the incident will be released by Tuesday, Feb. 17.

While Checo was brought into custody Thursday morning, officials with the New Hanover County Sheriff's office said he was not brought in to start the booking process until just before 5 p.m.

Checo made his first court appearance Friday, and was given a $500,000 bond. In addition, the judge said he could not contact his wife or children. Checo's next court appearance is scheduled for March 12.

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