Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Suspect in West Union Kidnapping Found in Louisiana
By Jeff Raasch, Reporter
STERLINGTON, Louisiana - Authorities in Louisiana have arrested a man wanted in connection with a kidnapping and assault in West Union.
Curtis A. Williams, 28, was taken into custody Tuesday evening in the northern Louisiana town of Sterlington on warrant for first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary. Police said Williams and four other young men, including Williams' nephew, were involved in the abduction of Allen M. Denni, 29. According to court documents, Denni had teeth knocked out and suffered an injury to his spleen before he was left naked along a gravel road in the early-morning hours of Nov. 21.
Prosecutors had already filed first-degree kidnapping charges against Cody L. Caldwell, 22, William J. Newton, 19, Tory A. Gibson, 19, and Tyler J. Williams, 18, all of West Union. Police said Gibson, Newton and Tyler Williams admitted involvement in the crime during interviews.
According to criminal complaints, five men went to Denni's apartment in the 100 block of East Plum Street in West Union, pulled him outside and forced him into a white van. Police said Denni was beaten in the back of the van while it was driven around the area.
Police said Denni was taken to a location about four miles northeast of West Union, where he was stripped of his clothes and left along a gravel road. A passer-by found Denni there, near a farmhouse, and called police.
Police have said Denni and the suspected assailants were acquaintances before the incident. No weapons were believed to have been used in the assault. Police have not speculated publicly about a motive in the case, but West Union Police Chief Jim Davies said the incident was not being investigated as a hate crime.
Sterlington police Capt. Jerre Hurst said his department received a tip that Curtis Williams might be in Sterlington, and officers conducted surveillance on a residence. He said Williams was found in possession of a stolen vehicle.
Williams was in custody at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, pending extradition back to Iowa.