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Man arrested after wife jumps from car

Police still not sure whether a shot was fired during a marital spat in Cornelius

A Hillsboro man who allegedly pulled a gun on his wife and caused her to jump from a moving vehicle in Cornelius was arrested last week on charges of second-degree kidnapping, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing.

Police say Jose Guadalupe Rojas-Espinoza, 39, approached his wife near a bank last Tuesday morning where she was conducting some business for her employer, a fast-food franchise located in Hillsboro.

The woman accepted his offer to drive her back to work, said Commander Chris Skinner of the Hillsboro Police Department. (The News-Times does not disclose the names of domestic abuse victims.)

According to Skinner, while the car was traveling westbound on Baseline/TV Highway, the couple began arguing about their deteriorating marriage and Rojas-Espinoza pulled out a handgun shortly after driving past his wife's job site.

'She was breaking up with him,' Skinner said, noting that she had also tried to end the relationship on previous occasions. 'When he drove past her place of employment, she knew he wasn't going to let her out.'

At 9:20 a.m. the woman opened the passenger door and jumped out of the vehicle while it was traveling between 40 and 50 miles per hour, said Commander Ed Jensen of the Cornelius Police Department. She was taken by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where she was treated for extensive road rash but no serious injuries.

Rojas-Espinoza was arrested at 10:20 p.m. that same night when he returned to his Hillsboro home. He was arrested without incident and is currently being held on $5,000 bail at the Washington County Jail while awaiting an Oct. 25 court hearing.

Police found evidence that a shot was fired within Rojas-Espinoza's vehicle. Early reports indicated he had fired the weapon at his wife, but when she was interviewed at the hospital, the woman denied that ever happened.

Further confusing the issue, Skinner said, is the fact that the gunshot hit the driver's-side door.