Sterling man charged with kidnapping

A Sterling man has been charged with kidnapping and several counts of assault after police allege he held a man in the back of his pickup truck.

Frank Edward James Bush, 29, was charged Wednesday with seven counts ranging from kidnapping for ransom and assault in the third and fourth degrees to misconduct involving weapons and theft, according to online court records.

Kenai Police received a 911 call on Feb. 26 from a man who said he was being held hostage in the back of a pickup truck, according to an affidavit written by Sgt. Jay Sjogren of the Kenai Police Department. Police responded to the area in Kenai the man said he thought he was, and he escaped and “ran as fast as he could towards” the officers, Sjogren wrote.

A woman, 31-year-old Katie Wright, ran after the man and was arrested on one count of kidnapping. She was arraigned in Kenai court on Feb. 27, online court records show.

Bush fled on foot and has not been located.

Investigation revealed Bush, Wright and a third man who has not been charged in the case had picked up the alleged victim at a house near Soldotna on the evening of Feb. 26 and drove to a residence near Sterling to pick up an ATV and snowmachine, according to the affidavit. The vehicles were not there, and Bush became “highly upset,” Sjogren wrote. Bush told the alleged victim to get in the back of his pickup and drove him to a home in Kasilof.

Once there, Bush threatened the man “with a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun,” Sjogren wrote. The man told police Bush had pointed the gun at him, threatened to shoot him in the knees, and punched him in the jaw and head.

“I thought for sure tonight he (Bush) was going to beat the f—- out of me,” the man is quoted as saying in the affidavit. “Or he was going to kill me.”

From the house in Kasilof, Bush ordered the man into the back of the pickup again and drove him back to the house near Sterling where the ATV and snowmachine were supposed to have been, according to the affidavit. The man told police that Bush took several items from the home, including a heavy duty drill, a heater, an air compressor a speaker and a fuel can, which Sjogren later recovered. Bush is charged with third-degree theft, a class A misdemeanor.

From there, the man told police that Bush took him to a third home, which he believed was also near Kasilof. According to the affidavit, the man told police Bush tried to push him to the ground and ordered him to perform a sexual act on a pitbull that was at the house, which the man refused to do. Bush then hit the man “in the face with a plastic bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey,” according to the affidavit.

Bush then drove the man in the back of the pickup to the Soldotna Safeway parking lot, and it was after leaving Safeway that the man called 911, Sjogren wrote.

“(The man) was led to believe he was going to be driven to a residence in Kenai and held until the ATV and (snowmachine) were located,” he wrote.

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

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