John Edward Gallo, who was wanted on charges of kidnapping and raping his estranged girlfriend, surrendered to authorities Friday morning.
Gallo, 40, of 1520 Jefferson Ave., Washington, entered the office of District Judge David Mark in Canonsburg accompanied by his mother and a friend shortly before 11 a.m. He was arraigned by Mark and jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond.
“I do know he didn’t rape her and he didn’t kidnap her,” Gallo’s mother, Judy Ward, said when asked if she had any comment following court procedings.
Gallo also was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats and harassment filed by state police.
Wearing blue jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and new athletic shoes, Gallo hugged his mother before constables put him in a van and drove him to the Washington County jail.
Police had been searching for Gallo since Sept. 24 when he drove off after the woman he is charged with harming jumped from his car.
According to the police affidavit, Gallo went to the woman’s room at Pugh’s Motel, 1911 W. Chestnut St., Canton Township, at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 23. When she asked him to return in 20 minutes, Gallo threatened to break a window if she did not let him back in.
Gallo allegedly told her he had his mother’s gun and forced her into his vehicle. They drove to a remote location where Gallo said there was a mine shaft. Police said he told the women he planned to throw her down the shaft, shoot himself and fall in after her and no one would find them.
Police said he then raped her and drove her back to her room, where he raped her a second time.
When the woman attempted to call someone, he grabbed her around her neck, put her in his vehicle and left the parking lot heading east.
At the intersection with the highway’s entrance ramp, the woman jumped from the vehicle. Police said Gallo drove off when bystanders intervened.
Ward disputed statements made by the woman, saying she was attempting to kill herself by jumping out of the car and her son was trying to prevent her.
Ward said her son never had her gun and she was able to prove that to police when they came to speak with her.
Instead, she said, her son had been trying to help.
“She’s the one who called him to come and get her,” she said, noting the woman had called Gallo after being with another man who was mistreating her.
A preliminary hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Central Court. Mark ordered Gallo to have no contact with the victim.