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Rape suspect held after car chase

NIAGARA FALLS -- A fleeing rape suspect crashed a stolen car into three other vehicles, then led police on a brief foot chase before being arrested behind a Buffalo Avenue apartment complex Saturday afternoon, State Police said.

Joseph E. Edmiston, 25, of Niagara Falls, was later booked on a variety of charges including resisting arrest, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of third-degree rape.

He faces arraignment in City Court on Monday morning.

Armed with a warrant alleging the rape counts, troopers went looking for Edmiston in Lockport Saturday when they received word he might be in Niagara Falls. Trooper Timothy M. Roof found Edmiston at about 12:30 p.m. on 97th Street.

When Edmiston spotted Roof, he sped away in his vehicle, heading down Buffalo Avenue, troopers said. A short time later, he lost control of the vehicle and struck three oncoming, eastbound cars. He abandoned the stolen car and fled on foot behind an apartment complex, where he was captured by Roof without further incident, troopers said.

State police said that injured occupants of the vehicles Edmiston struck were taken to area hospitals, where they were released after treatment. None of the injuries were serious, troopers said.

In addition to the criminal charges, Edmiston faces a number of vehicle and traffic counts, Roof said. No further information was available Saturday concerning the rape charges against Edmiston.

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