Penn Valley man charged in armed kidnap |

Penn Valley man charged in armed kidnap

Joshua Herrera
Submitted Photo |

A Penn Valley man suspected of kidnapping his romantic rival at gunpoint in Yuba County has been charged with kidnapping by force, assault with a firearm and criminal threats. He is also facing sentencing enhancements for using a handgun and causing the victim great bodily injury.

Joshua Devon Herrera, 26, is in custody at Yuba County Jail with bail set at $650,000.

On Feb. 8, Herrera confronted the victim, a 25-year-old Smartsville man, about text messaging and contacting his girlfriend, said Yuba County Undersheriff Jerry read.

Herrera reportedly went to the man’s residence and the victim agreed to get into the vehicle with Herrera so they could talk.

However, once inside the vehicle, Herrera locked the doors and started driving, Read said, brandishing a handgun and pointing it at the victim’s head.

The victim pleaded with Herrera to stop the vehicle and let him out on at least 20 separate occasions but Herrera refused, Read said.

While driving, Herrera reportedly threatened to shoot the victim and drove down to the area underneath the Parks Bar Bridge, then threw his cell phone out of the window.

When the victim asked where he was taking him, Herrera told him he was taking him somewhere no one would hear him yell if he shot him, Read said. The victim reportedly grabbed and wrestled for the gun and when it fell to the floor of the vehicle, he jumped out of the moving vehicle and hid in the bushes until Herrera left.

A be-on-the-lookout advisory was issued, and local law enforcement developed information that Herrera was at a residence in Penn Valley.

Nevada County Sheriff’s detectives set up a surveillance of the residence and spotted Herrera the morning of Feb. 9, heading to a gas station at Penn Valley Drive and Highway 20. He subsequently was detained after deputies made a traffic stop on Highway 20 between Penn Valley and Grass Valley, and turned over to Yuba County Sheriff’s deputies.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229. Appeal-Democrat reporter Monica Vaughan contributed to this report.

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