Blaine man says he had a seizure, awoke to find himself held captive

Published on Wed, Jul 24, 2013
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A Blaine man told Lake Forest Park police he was abducted and held for more than 24 hours after suffering a seizure while driving home from a Seattle hospital visit.

Steve Sutton, chief of police for the Lake Forest Park police department, said his officers responded to the man’s call for help on July 14 and found him outside a home in the north Seattle suburb. The victim told officers his captors used a bomb to booby trap the front door, so he escaped out a window.

“The victim was visibly shaken,” Sutton said.

No suspects were found during a security sweep of the residence, but officers did find a suspicious device that looked like a small bomb. The King County Sheriff’s Department bomb disposal unit determined the device was a fake and destroyed it.

The victim’s vehicle and personal belongings were missing. Lake Forest police entered the vehicle’s information into a stolen-car database, and Seattle police quickly located it in Seattle. Stephen Klepper and Taraille Chesney were with the vehicle and were connected to the house with the fake bomb. They were arrested on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment, and are being held on numerous charges including kidnapping, vehicle theft and unlawful imprisonment. A Seattle District Court judge set their bail at $150,000 each. Both men have a long history of prior arrests.

The victim, who is a combat veteran, told police he was visiting a VA hospital in Seattle for treatment. He was driving home on I-5 when he began feeling symptoms of an epileptic seizure coming on. He pulled off the highway before blacking out, and when he awoke he was a captive in a strange room, where he was confined for more than 24 hours before making his escape and calling police.