SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 17, 2013

Man charged with kidnapping girlfriend

Prosecutors: Plan to take woman to Russia is foiled

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — A Lynn man is facing charges that include kidnapping after prosecutors say he forced his girlfriend to go to the bank, where he wanted her to withdraw $5,000 so they and their child could return to Russia.

Ernest Choguryan, 30, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges that also include assault with a dangerous weapon and attempting to commit a crime.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Wood told a judge that police got a call from a Bank of America branch in Vinnin Square shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday about a woman who had asked a teller to call them.

She told police that the couple had been arguing Tuesday afternoon about their finances when Choguryan pulled out a knife and demanded that she drive him to the bank.

Wood said Choguryan knew the woman had a “substantial” amount of money in the bank.

Meanwhile, she knew that Choguryan always carried a knife with him, the prosecutor said.

A teller told police he could see that the woman was nervous as she approached the window, before she whispered to him, “Please call the police.”

The teller pressed a button that locks the doors and could see Choguryan outside, banging on the glass door, Wood told Judge Matthew Machera.

Police in Lynn are also expected to file charges after the woman reported that she had been abused by Choguryan, Wood said in court.

Machera ordered Choguryan held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Jan. 23.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.