Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 3, 2012

Athens abduction

Men force victim to withdraw bank account at ATM

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Athens Police Department arrested three males Tuesday, after an investigation into a report that thieves kidnapped a Frankston resident, and forced him to withdraw money from his bank account.

Al Gene Fulton, 29, Lamontoe D. Rodriguez, 18 and Bryson Bowman, 17, were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, and transported to the Henderson County Jail.

Each of the suspects was  charged with the first-degree felony charge aggravated kidnapping. Bond on Fulton was set at $100,000, and bond on Rodriguez at $25,000. Bond information on Bowman was not available at press time Wednesday.

APD reports indicate that the Frankston man’s ordeal began at about 4:45 a.m., Saturday, when the suspects approached him, and demanded that he withdraw the money.  The victim said he had been at an apartment complex in the 700 block of Jonathan Street, trying to locate an acquaintance, when the suspects surrounded him, and took his wallet, keys and cell phone.

According to reports, the complainant said two men forced him into his own vehicle, while a third person got into the driver’s seat. He was taken to an ATM machine, and told to withdraw all of his money in exchange for his life and release. 

The victim complied with the demands, and removed the maximum amount available on his ATM card. He was told to withdraw more money from his account, but the second attempted transaction was denied.

Then the suspects transported him to a second ATM, where he made an additional unsuccessful attempt to withdraw money. Finally, the subjects drove the victim to a location on the west side of Athens, where they assaulted him briefly, and left with his vehicle.

APD began investigating the offense, and was able to obtain video surveillance from the ATM machines, which helped identify the three men involved in the kidnapping.

Lead detective on the case, Cpl. James Bonnette presented the information to Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Tommy Barnett. Barnett issued arrest warrants for each of the individuals, who were picked up at various Athens locations Wednesday.