Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man has been charged after a woman he allegedly held captive for a year escaped to a nearby gas station.
James Parrillo, 57, has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree strangulation and aggravated assault, and third-degree criminal restraint, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced in a statement.
He was also charged with third-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree obstruction and refusing to provide a DNA sample. Parrillo faces a sentence of up to 46 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Prosecutors said Parrillo, who told the woman his name was "Brett Parker," met her at a gas station in New Mexico in February 2022.
The woman, who was not named, agreed to give Parrillo a ride to Arizona and told police she entered into a voluntary relationship with him.
The two dated for about a month when Parrillo allegedly assaulted her in California, "at which point she felt unable to leave the relationship."
"During their time together, Parrillo allegedly took away the woman's phone, confiscated and utilized her debit cards, and isolated her from her family," prosecutors said.
Parrillo and the woman reportedly arrived in New Jersey sometime in December.
He was arrested when the woman fled a room they were renting in Bass River Township to a gas station in Burlington County, N.J., prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the woman had noticed an interior deadbolt on the door of the gas station during a prior visit and ran from the home she shared with Parrillo when he allegedly choked and started beating her on Feb. 7.
Parrillo allegedly stopped beating the woman when he realized someone else was in the house, giving her the opportunity to escape as he chased her.
At the gas station, the woman locked the deadbolt and told workers to call police. Surveillance footage obtained by police showed Parrillo following the woman to the gas station and attempting to open the locked door.
Gas station employees held the doors shut, keeping Parrillo from continuing his pursuit, NBC News reported.
"This is a deeply disturbing case in which the defendant allegedly held a woman against her will for nearly a year, while traveling with her throughout the country, before ending up here in New Jersey where she was able to escape," Platkin said in a statement.
Col. Patrick J. Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, described the woman's ordeal as a "year-long nightmare."