CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A man was arrested by the Cheyenne Police Department after it was alleged that he kidnapped another person at gunpoint, bound them with duct tape, drove them outside of town and cut them with a knife in an attempt to collect a debt they felt they were owed.
Court papers say that Kevin Bartlett made his initial appearance in Laramie County Circuit Court on Tuesday, August 4th to hear the recommended felony charges of Kidnapping – Involuntary Release, two counts of Aggravated Assault and a single misdemeanor count of Battery read to him.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, officers with the Cheyenne Police Department were dispatched to a motel in the city limits to investigate a report of a kidnapping during the afternoon hours of July 24th, 2020.
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The officers report they met with an accuser who alleged that a male, later identified as Bartlett, had forced them into a white Chevy pickup truck earlier in the day.
The accuser told authorities that Bartlett had come to the parking lot of the motel to collect money he said he was owed from a third party who was not there at the time. The accuser said that when they told Bartlet that the person he was looking for wasn’t there that he brandished a pistol and said “You’re coming with me.”
It is alleged that Bartlett told the accuser that they were going to have to pay the debt that the other person owed.
The alleged victim went on to tell law enforcement that Bartlett drove them outside of the city limits while pointing the pistol at them. The accuser advised police that they felt like they would be shot if they tried to escape.
Court documents say that the accuser could not locate specifically where Bartlett had driven them to but could recall seeing grass once they stopped. Once there, it is alleged that Bartlett told the accuser to get out of the truck.
After getting out of the vehicle, the alleged victim told authorities that Bartlett then punched them in the back of the head several times before wrapping duct tape around their mouth and wrists.
Once restrained, Bartlett then placed the accuser back on the floorboards of the truck, according to the affidavit.
The alleged victim told authorities that Bartlett then began to drive again while having a conversation on his cell phone with an unknown person. At one point the accuser reported they heard the suspect say “I have my victim gagged and stuffed in the back.”
According to the affidavit, Bartlett continued to drive alleged victim around making numerous stops and turns. The accuser told police that they could see city streetlights from their vantage point from where they were from the floorboard of the truck.
Court documents say that law enforcement were told that the alleged victim could hear Bartlett having conversations with other people via talk-to-text on his cellphone during this time.
The accuser advised police that Bartlett then drove them back out outside of city limits to an unknown location and removed them from the vehicle again. The alleged victim said that they thought Bartlett was going to kill them at this moment, according to the affidavit.
The accuser alleges that Bartlett then stated that they were “lucky” that he got his property returned to him.
Afterward, it is reported that Bartlett then used a knife and cut the victim in two places in their chest. Court papers say that the officer observed two cuts on the alleged victim’s chest.
The officer also said they located a blue folding pocketknife in the jeans of the accuser, who alleged that was the same blade that had been used to cut them earlier.
According to court papers, Bartlett drove the accuser back to the motel and got them out of the truck. The alleged victim told police that the suspect then removed the duct tape from their mouth, cut their restraints and then placed the blue folding pocket knife in their front pocket.
Investigators say they were later able to review video surveillance footage from the motel’s property where they observed the alleged victim leaving Bartlett’s vehicle while still being restrained.
Authorities went on to say that they watched Bartlet partially cut the duct tape off of the accuser’s wrists and then place the pocketknife in their front pocket.
According to Wyoming statutes, if convicted on all charges Bartlett could face up to life in prison and/or a fine of over 20k .
All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office.