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Woman Who Mouthed ‘Help Me’ Saved From Kidnapers

September 3, 1987

LEWISTON, N.Y. (AP) _ A woman who mouthed a silent ″Help me″ to two strangers in a motel office was rescued after she was allegedly kidnapped by her former boyfriend.

Kevin Kuchta, the station manager of WJJL-AM, a radio station in nearby Niagara Falls, said he and his broadcast engineer were in Lewiston to prepare for a broadcast. They had walked to the Buena Vista motel to find an electrical outlet when a man and woman entered the office.

″I looked at her ... and she looked at me and mouthed the words ‘Help me. Help me,’ ″ said the engineer, Jim Driscoll. ″I turned away, then turned back and looked at her again. She had a look on her face. I could tell by her eyes.″

Kuchta telephoned police.

Lewiston police Sgt. Ronald Winkley said when he knocked on the door of their room ″the man indicated everything was all right, but it was obvious that everything wasn’t all right with the woman.″

The woman, whom police would not identify, told Winkley she had been abducted at gunpoint by former boyfriend Joseph Capaldo, 29, at a Rochester unemployment office.

Police found a .38-caliber revolver in Capaldo’s car, Winkley said.

Capaldo was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. He was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and taken to Niagara County Jail without bail.

In Rochester, Investigator Douglas Hinchey of the Monroe County sheriff’s department said Capaldo would also be charged with second-degree kidnapping, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse.

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