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2 men accused of impersonating police, abducting women in Las Vegas

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  • Charles Sean Rush, left, and Christopher Cruz Ontiveros-Mendez are seen in side-by-side mugshots provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department today. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metro Police)

LAS VEGAS » Two men are facing multiple felony charges, including impersonating an officer, after they were accused of luring female dancers to a Las Vegas apartment, handcuffing and robbing one and robbing the other women and a man at gunpoint in a police-style vehicle stop.

Christopher Cruz Ontiveros-Mendez, 28, and Charles Sean Rush, 29, were being held Tuesday without bail at the Clark County jail pending a court appearance Wednesday to have lawyers named to represent them, according to jail and court records. The two are also accused of kidnapping and robbery with a deadly weapon.

The two men were arrested a little after 1 a.m. Friday at an apartment on Russell Road near Buffalo Drive, according to a police report.

Rush told police the two men were bounty hunters trying to apprehend a pimp who disappeared after a bail bondsman posted $80,000 bail, the report said. He said he told police late Thursday that he was planning to try to apprehend a fugitive at the apartment complex.

Ontiveros-Mendez told police he was helping Rush.

A 22-year-old outcall dancer told police that she was hired to perform at a bachelor party, but Ontiveros-Mendez pulled her into the apartment, handcuffed her, took her cellphone and displayed a badge. She said Ontiveros-Mendez questioned her about whether she worked for a pimp and told her she was being arrested for prostitution.

Police said Rush had a gun and wore a ballistic vest with the word "Agent" on the back and a badge hanging from a chain around his neck. The woman told investigators that Rush searched her vehicle and stole her purse and $620 before the two men let her go with a warning not to tell anyone what happened.

The woman summoned police, who arrived to find Ontiveros-Mendez and Rush holding another outcall dancer, 23, in handcuffs in the back seat of a white 2002 Ford Crown Victoria similar to a police vehicle. A 21-year-old man was being held in handcuffs on the sidewalk.

The woman told police that she and the man were arriving at the complex for an agency appointment when the Crown Victoria pulled up, and Rush and Ontiveros-Mendez approached their vehicle displaying badges and handguns.

The woman told police she assumed the men were police officers. She said they took her purse and searched their car, and Rush told her she was under arrest before Las Vegas police officers arrived a short time later.

The man said Ontiveros-Mendez and Rush each identified themselves as police officers.

He said Ontiveros-Mendez held him at gunpoint, handcuffed him and took his wallet before police arrived, according to the police report.

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