Three arrested after allegations of kidnapping
FORKS — Two men and a woman are accused of kidnapping and torturing a man in Forks.
The alleged victim, a La Push resident whose name was redacted from the probable cause statement, told police that he had been picked up on March 14 and held against his will overnight in a mobile home in Forks, where he was punched, hit with a flashlight, threatened with a blow torch and told his ear would be cut off if he didn’t provide information about stolen marijuana.
Forks police arrested Forks resident Joseph Angel Garza, 26, La Push resident Sarah Ellisyn Burnside, 20, and Forks resident Curtis Price, 51, for investigation of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.
Garza was charged Monday with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon with a deadly weapon enhancement, unlawful imprisonment, intimidating a witness and heroin possession.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly set a May 9 trial date and April 8 status hearing for Garza.
Garza was being held Monday in the Clallam County jail with no bail.
Burnside and Price were each scheduled to be charged Monday. Charging papers had not been added to either case as of Monday evening.
Burnside was being held in the Clallam County jail on $10,000 bail.
Price posted a $30,000 bail bond Friday.
The alleged victim did not report the kidnapping and assault until last Wednesday, making his initial report to La Push police and later speaking with Forks police.
He told Forks officers Donald Ponton and Michael Gentry he delayed because he feared Garza would kill him.
Garza, questioned later, told police that five pounds of marijuana had been stolen from Price and Price had offered Garza several hundred dollars to find out from the alleged victim where it was.
Garza says he was paid
Garza also said Price paid him to beat the man up and “would pay him more if he did certain things like send a photo of (the man) or break a rib,” the police report said.
“Joseph stated that he was offered drugs and money to find his stolen marijuana and hurt the people who took it,” the police report said.
The alleged victim said that Garza and Burnside picked him up at the Forks Library and took him first to the hatchery at the end of Bogachiel Way and then to a mobile home, according to the report.
He said Garza, while grilling him about the marijuana, hit him with the flashlight while they were outside the car at the hatchery, the report said.
In the mobile home, Garza held a blow torch near his face and threatened to burn him, then made him grab the end of the torch and burn his fingers, the man told police.
“Joseph hit him in the head multiple times with his open hand. At one point Joseph took a knife and held it to his ear and threatened to cut it off if he didn’t tell him where the marijuana was,” the police report said.
Forks police said that the alleged victim had “a fat lip, large deep blisters on two of his fingers and slight cut marks on his head behind his left ear. All of the injuries were consistent with his story.”
The alleged victim also said that throughout the night, Garza texted another person, whom he believed to be Price.
Garza threatened to kill him if he told anyone what he had done, the alleged victim told police.
The next morning, Garza drove him away from the mobile home.
They spotted a police car behind them in the area of Klahndike Boulevard. Garza drove to an area on nearby Terra Eden Street, jumped out and ran, the police report said, adding that the officer didn’t contact anyone and left the area.
Forks Police Chief Rick Bart said that Garza and the victim had been in the car, and it is unknown where Burnside was at that time.
The alleged victim “was scared and waited in the car for a moment. He then jumped out of the car and ran away,” the police report said.
The officers arrested Garza and Burnside at the mobile home. A man identifying himself as the owner said that the two did not live there.
The officers found a blow torch, a black knife, an iPhone, two flashlights and what appeared to be heroin, they said.
Burnside did not speak to the officers and asked for a lawyer.
After interviewing Garza, the officers arrested Price at his home, they said.
The probable cause statement submitted in Superior Court listed the name of the victim as James King of La Push