Fugitive unit arrests man on kidnapping charge

NORCROSS - An alleged gang member suspected of brutally beating a Norcross woman in April was arrested Tuesday by members of the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department's fugitive unit.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 22, was discovered hiding in a back bedroom of a Kay Drive residence and was arrested without incident, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said.

According to arrest warrants, Rodriguez faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, battery, third-degree cruelty to children, pointing a gun at another and possessing a weapon during a crime.

On the morning of April 20, police said, Rodriguez abducted an 18-year-old woman at gunpoint from the Oakbrook Point apartments, though it is unclear where, if anywhere, he actually took the woman.

At the time of the incident, the victim had two children with her, ages 2 years and 8 months. It is unclear whether the children belonged to the victim or if Rodriguez had a relationship with her, but initial police reports indicate family violence as a circumstance.

According to police, Rodriguez brandished a handgun and told the victim, "If you do not cooperate, things will get worse." He then, reports said, pistol-whipped her with the butt of the handgun, slapped her and continued kicking her once she fell to the ground.

Gwinnett police issued the initial arrest warrants. Department spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said a full report is unavailable, citing the ongoing investigation, so an exact motive and circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear.

Initial reports do say, however, that police believe the incident could also be gang-related. Police said Rodriguez is a member of Marasalvatrucha - or MS-13 - and that there may be additional suspects.

The investigation was turned over to the department's gang unit, reports said.

Rodriguez is currently being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail. A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 11 at 8:30 a.m.