Oregon man accused of kidnapping to settle debt

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The suspect is also accused of speeding away while an officer clung to the vehicle he was driving and tried to stop him.

A close-up photo of police lights by night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Grants Pass man is facing a federal kidnapping charge after allegedly kidnapping a man in Oregon and driving him to California to exchange for ransom.

David Brian Scott was charged with kidnapping in the U.S. District Court in Medford, according to court documents filed Monday. 

According to a press release from the Red Bluff Police Department and an affidavit submitted by a Portland Field Division FBI special agent, Scott was initially arrested on Sept. 5, 2020. Investigators say he kidnapped a man in Medford and drove him across the state line to Red Bluff, Calif. where he received money in a ransom exchange to settle a debt. 

The affidavit says the kidnapping happened the morning of Sept. 5 when Scott arrived at a warehouse and claimed his vehicle was having problems. He said he needed water for it and asked to speak to the victim. 

While the two were speaking, the victim told investigators Scott poured water on him, slapped him twice, and tased him. 

The victim said Scott told him he was there to collect money the victim owed to another person and that he would not let him go until he had the money. The victim reportedly told Scott he could get the money, but they would need to go to Yuba City, California to get it from his friends. 

According to court documents, the victim said Scott forced him into the victim’s own pickup truck and Scott drove the truck to a business in Central Point, where he parked the truck and then got into a Chevrolet Avalanche driven by a woman. 

The victim said he was put in the back seat and was told to start making arrangements for the $25,000 ransom exchange money. 

During the drive, the victim said he called his friends and they agreed to bring the money to a location in Red Bluff where they would meet Scott. The victim said Scott threatened him several times during the drive. He said Scott threatened to harm his parents and girlfriend if the victim did not get him the money or if he involved the police. 

While Scott, the driver, and the victim were traveling to Red Bluff, one of the victim’s friends gathered the $25,000 for ransom and another called the Red Bluff Police Department. 

When Scott, the driver, and the victim arrived at the meeting place, they made the exchange. The friends handed over $25,000 and Scott gave the victim to his friends, according to the affidavit. 

After that, a police sergeant initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle Scott was in. The officer tried to speak to Scott at the driver’s side door, but Scott pulled away and the officer grabbed the door pillar and stepped onto the truck’s running board to avoid being run over. The officer held onto the truck as investigators say Scott drove about 300 feet and swerved to try to make the officer fall off. 

Before getting onto Interstate 5, investigators say Scott stopped the vehicle and police used physical force to take him into custody. 

According to a press release the Red Bluff Police Department issued on Sept. 6, 2020, the officer pointed his “service weapon” at Scott while hanging on to the pickup truck, which caused the suspect to stop the truck and try to run away. 

When police interviewed the victim, he said he did not owe the money Scott claimed he did. He said he and the man whom Scott claimed he owed money to had done several business deals together involving marijuana and hemp products. The victim said he lost money in the deals and did not know why that person thought he owed them money. 

When Scott spoke to police, he said he owed the person money and was told to get the victim to pay the $25,000 that the victim owed. Scott said the person claimed if Scott was successful, he would take $5,000 off the debt Scott owed. Scott also claimed that the victim was in on the kidnapping and was part of a ruse. Scott told investigators that the victim was not being held against his will and that he had several opportunities to leave voluntarily. 

Scott claimed he never used a taser on the victim and that he even allowed the victim to drive part of the way to California. 

The woman who was driving the pickup truck to California said she did not know what was going to happen with Scott and the victim. She said at one point Scott was going to let the victim drive but then changed his mind. She said she did not hear Scott make any specific threats to the victim other than he needed to pay the money. 

On Dec. 9, 2020, the FBI interviewed the person who was allegedly owed the money. He said the victim did owe him a debt and that he asked Scott to “pop up” on the victim. However, he said on the day of the kidnapping, he called Scott and told him to let the victim go. He said he never heard back from Scott. 

If found guilty of the federal kidnapping crime, Scott could serve up to a life sentence in prison. It’s unclear if Scott has an attorney.

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