Grass Valley police arrest man after alleged kidnapping
July 19, 2013
A convoluted tale of kidnapping and attempted robbery ended in the arrest of a local man on a number of charges Saturday.
The victim, who was not identified, called 911 Thursday night to report having been kidnapped by four people who took him into a wooded area and threatened his life, according to dispatch reports.
He had been at a grocery store on Sutton Way and called a friend for a ride home so he could pick up his medications, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pettitt.
The friend allegedly told him he would need money for gas, and the man agreed.
“Three men showed up in a green Suburban and told him they were there to give him a ride home,” Pettitt said. It was not clear why dispatch reports indicated there were four men in the vehicle.
The victim said the three men were not known to him but that he got in the vehicle with them.
“They drove out Squirrel Creek Road to the Oak Street market and threatened him,” Pettitt said. “They told him they wanted his medication and would hurt him unless he got it for them, and they gave him an hour to go get it.”
According to the victim, the trio surrounded him, pushing and shoving him. He did not sustain any injuries, however, Pettitt said.
“He believed they intended to kill him,” Pettitt said, adding that he agreed to get the drugs and began walking to his residence.
As soon as he got out of sight, however, he began calling friends for a ride and was picked up, at which point he called 911.
The victim told sheriff’s deputies the men kept his backpack, possibly to ensure his return. He was able to identify the driver of the Suburban as Stephen Nicholas Woodward, 26,
“He said he suddenly recognized him,” Pettitt said.
A be-on-the-lookout advisory was issued for Woodward, and he was arrested by Grass Valley Police officers Saturday in the 400 block of Brunswick Road.
Woodward allegedly had the victim’s backpack in his possession.
He was arrested on suspicion of robbery and making criminal threats and was being held in county jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4229.
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