New Kensington man sought on kidnapping, assault charges
A New Kensington woman who was beaten and almost kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Saturday morning had filed for a protection-from-abuse order against the man just a day before, according to police.
Jeremy Chambers, 36, of New Kensington is wanted on charges of attempted kidnapping, aggravated assault and car theft. Police say he ambushed the woman in a New Kensington alley about 5 a.m. Saturday while she was delivering newspapers.
He remains at large, and police say he could be driving the woman’s silver Jeep Compass, which he allegedly stole from the scene of the assault.
The woman, Amanda Lea Schafer of New Kensington, told authorities she and Chambers have known each other for more than 16 years and were in a relationship for most of that time. During that time, she said, Chambers was jailed several times and was addicted to heroin. The two have a son together, she said.
The Tribune-Review typically does not identify crime victims, but Schafer agreed to be identified for this report.
Schafer said ongoing abuse at Chambers’ hands led her to terminate their relationship in October. Chambers was in jail at the time, she said, but was released on July 30. Schafer said the abuse restarted almost immediately and, on Friday, along with her daughter, she filed for the court’s protection from Chambers.
Around 5 a.m. on Saturday, Schafer said, she was delivering newspapers in an alley parallel to Freeport Road in New Kensington when Chamber’s came out from behind a bush and began to assault her.
“I was working, five papers in of 416,” she said. “He caught me in an alley, came out from behind a bush with duct tape, tried to duct tape my mouth shut. Everyone said I should get a PFA and I went down and got it, but what was I supposed to do with it? Wave it in his face?”
Schafer said she struggled to fight Chambers off, but that he began to choke her, and she went in and out of consciousness several times.
“The third time I came to, he said ‘just die’ and started punching me in my eye,” she said.
Schafer said Chambers, after trying to cover her mouth with duct tape, attempted to shove her into the car.
New Kensington Police Chief Bob Derringer said responding officers found Schafer bloodied and lying in the alley with severe facial injuries. They found a strip of duct tape with blood on it. A search of the area revealed a mountain bike with a roll of tape on its handle bars. Police believe that is how Chambers arrived, Deringer said.
According to Schafer, the assault ended when a bystander came into the alley with his dog and started to yell. Chambers jumped into her silver Jeep Compass and sped away, she said.
Now she just wants him caught.
“They always let him out of jail. Six months in, they close his case,” she said. “Well, I’m the victim now and I’m going to make it stick.”
Schafer said the beating she took left her with a brain bleed that requires anti-seizure medication, lacerations to her kidney, and broken blood vessels in her eyes. Despite this, she said she is doing okay.
“I’m alright,” she said. “I’m a little scared, since he’s still out there.”
Deringer said Chambers did not display a weapon and it is unknown if he has one, but that he likely knows he’s looking at jail time and could be dangerous.
Schafer said Chambers also drove off with her cell phone and has been using it in an attempt to contact her through her daughter’s social media accounts. Schafer said Chambers claimed to be in Ohio, but message location tags have indicated he is communicating from Mercer County.
According to Schafer, the PFA against Chambers prohibits him from communicating with her or her daughter in any fashion, including electronically.
Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Matthew at 724-226-4675, [email protected] or via Twitter @matthew_medsger.