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Arrest follows rape, police chase

Buffalo police say a 22-year-old Buffalo man led officers on a high-speed chase after raping a woman late Monday.

Paul T. Imes, of Alma Avenue, attempted to ram several police cars during the pursuit, which started when a woman flagged down an officer and said she had been raped, police said.

During the chase, which started on Perry Street and included parts of the West Side, the 1994 Cadillac driven by Imes reached speeds of more than 90 mph on the Niagara Thruway.

The victim -- an 18-year-old city woman, according to a police source -- told police she and Imes were driving around the city's East Side in his car when, on Perry near Van Rensselaer Street, Imes dragged her out of the vehicle and into a warehouse, where he raped her.

After the woman flagged down Officer Michael Ross, who was patrolling the area, Imes ran to his car and sped away on Smith Street, according to a police report.

The chase finally ended just before midnight at East Delavan and Cambridge avenues, several blocks from Imes' home, when he rammed his vehicle into Officer Bob Joyce's police car.

Imes was forcibly subdued and arrested, police said.

Imes has been charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree robbery, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, 21 counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

The woman told police Imes took her cell phone when she tried to call for help.

The victim, whose injuries include bruising, cuts and swelling in her legs and arms, was taken to Women and Children's Hospital for treatment.

Officers from each of the city's five police districts as well as the state police were involved in the chase and arrest.

Imes was convicted of disorderly conduct in 2002, 2003 and 2005, and was convicted in 2006 of unlawful possession of marijuana, according to records.

Imes also was arrested on felony weapons possession charges in April 2003, according to Buffalo News records. The disposition of that case was not immediately available.

He was expected to be arraigned this morning in City Court.

e-mail: abesecker@buffnews.com

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