Crime

He was severely beaten at gunpoint by kidnappers who thought he stole their drugs

A Lakewood man was held hostage and severely beaten by a group of people who wrongly suspected him of stealing drugs.

The 28-year-old victim suffered a large hematoma on his brain, and doctors had to remove a portion of his skull.

Police believe four people were involved in the kidnapping and assault.

Two are in custody, one woman has not been identified and a warrant was issued for a 28-year-old man.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged the man and two women, ages 42 and 29, with first-degree assault, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The the women in custody both pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday.

The 29-year-old woman is being held on $250,000 bail. The older woman is jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Charging papers give this account:

The younger woman picked up the victim Oct. 13 and they ran errands.

Afterward, they returned to the woman’s apartment under the guise of her showing the victim a spare room she had to rent.

When they walked to the spare room, an armed man wearing a mask and gloves was waiting.

The man pointed the gun at the victim, forced the barrel of the gun into the victim’s mouth, threatened to kill him and accused the victim of stealing their drugs, records say.

He then used the butt of the gun to repeatedly hit the victim on the top of his head.

When the victim dropped to the ground and could not move, the group allegedly forced him into the bathroom where they made his strip off his clothing and left him duct taped in the bathtub.

The victim was eventually able to show them pictures on his cell phone of himself hanging out with friends at the time of the theft, proving he did not steal the group’s drugs.

They allegedly stole the victim’s phone and Apple watch.

The man with the gun told the women not to release the victim “until he was ‘long gone,’ but reminded (the victim) they had the names and addresses of his family members,” according to charging papers. The armed man also “said he and his friends would not hesitate to kill the victim or his family if he went to the police.”

The woman put the victim in a vehicle and held a stun gun to him as they drove. A few blocks from the hospital, they let the victim out of the car and he walked to get help.

On Wednesday, police spotted the same car and stopped it at gunpoint.

Both women were arrested and allegedly admitted to abducting the victim.

Prosecutors said more charges could be filed in the future.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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