Kasilof man pleads not guilty to kidnapping, additional charges

A Kasilof man entered not-guilty pleas to kidnapping, assault and other charges during a Kenai Superior Court arraignment Tuesday.

Frank Bush, 29, was charged March 1 and arrested in Nikiski on March 18 for charges related to an alleged kidnapping in late February. Kenai police say Bush forced a man into the back of his pickup truck, drove him to various homes in the Sterling and Kasilof areas and beat him, after becoming upset when an ATV and snowmachine he was supposed to pick up near Soldotna were not found where they were supposed to be.

A Kenai grand jury indicted Bush March 22, and misdemeanor charges were added for a total of 12 charges ranging from kidnapping for ransom and assault to misconduct involving weapons, according to online court records. He also faces one charge of cruelty to animals for allegedly trying to force his victim to perform a sex act on a dog at one of the homes he was being held at, according to an affidavit signed by Sgt. Jay Sjogren of the Kenai Police Department.

Bush pleaded not guilty to the charges during a Tuesday arraignment in front of Superior Court Judge Jennifer Wells. His next court date is an omnibus hearing scheduled for April 24.

Against the advice of a public defender present at the arraignment, Bush made a statement to the court, saying he wanted it on the public record that he doesn’t think 31-year-old Katie Wright should be charged in this case. She faces five charges related to the case including kidnapping, assault and misconduct involving weapons, according to online court records. Officers arriving on scene in Kenai saw her running after the kidnapped victim, who had called 911 and was in the process of escaping, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Bush threatened his victim “with a sawed-off double barrel shotgun,” punched him in the jaw and hit him over the head with a plastic bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.

Bush fled from police when they showed up to where the victim was being held in Kenai and evaded capture for three weeks until he was found at a residence in Nikiski.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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