Grants Pass man faces federal kidnapping charge
A Grants Pass man faces a new federal charge accusing him of forcing a Southern Oregon man across state lines for ransom. The alleged kidnapping later sparked a Northern California police chase in which a Red Bluff police officer held onto the side of a moving vehicle for at least 100 yards.
David Brian Scott, 46, was charged Monday with kidnapping in U.S. District Court in Medford on accusations he forced a 30-year-old man to travel across state lines in an attempt to collect a disputed $25,000 debt, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI special agent based in Portland.
At about 10 a.m. Sept. 5, 2020, Scott allegedly first made contact with the victim at a Medford warehouse by pretending to have car trouble.
Scott first told individuals outside the warehouse that he needed jumper cables, according to statements the victim and other witnesses gave the FBI, and later encountered the victim by asking him to fill a jug with water for his vehicle.
The circumstances took a violent turn after the jug was filled, according to the victim’s statements to the FBI.
“During the conversation, Scott tased (the victim) and poured water on him,” the affidavit states.
Scott said he was there to collect $25,000 owed to another individual. He then allegedly forced the victim into the passenger seat of his own Chevrolet Avalanche and drove to a parking lot in Central Point.
The victim made contact that morning with friends in Yuba City, California, and told them that he had been kidnapped. The friend didn’t believe him at first at first and hung up.
Scott allegedly dialed the victim’s friend a second time, and made threats to kill the victim, according to a witness who told police that Scott’s voice matched the threats heard on the phone.
One friend worked to gather the $25,000 ransom, while another friend called police.
The victim was safely released that afternoon at a Red Bluff, California, Starbucks. After the exchange, however, a Red Bluff police sergeant initiated a traffic stop on the Avalanche.
The police officer was at the driver-side window when Scott allegedly sped away, according to a release from the Red Bluff Police Department and the FBI affidavit.
“The officer was able to stand on the running boards of the vehicle while Scot drove nearly 50 mph carrying the officer approximately 400 feet,” states a Sept. 6, 2020, Red Bluff Police Department release. “Scott swerved multiple times trying to knock the officer from the vehicle.”
When Scott neared an Interstate 5 on-ramp, the police sergeant ordered Scott to stop the vehicle at gunpoint.
Scott complied, fled on foot, and was arrested after a short foot pursuit.
As of Tuesday, Scott is still an inmate at the Tehama County, California, jail where he’s been held since Sept. 5 on felony charges of attempted murder, kidnap for ransom, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting an executive officer.
When questioned by police, Scott allegedly told police that he and the victim owed the same individual money, and they were working together as part of a ruse to shave $5,000 off the debt that Scott owed.
“Scott stated he never used the Taser that was located in his back pocket,” the FBI states. “Scott said (the victim) even drove part of the way to California.”
As of Tuesday, no other codefendants were named in the federal case.
The victim told police that he was familiar with the person who hired Scott, but denied owing money. The victim told Red Bluff police that he’d “done several business deals together involving marijuana and hemp products,” but stated that they both lost money in the deals.
The FBI refers to the individual for whom Scott was collecting the debt as a witness and does not identify him in court documents.
The witness allegedly told the FBI that he expected Scott to “pop up” on the victim, but would never have hired him had he known an assault would happen.