Quick thinking on the part of a woman on her way to hunt bears helped save a man who’d been kidnapped and assaulted, allegedly by his girlfriend’s ex and two other accomplices. The amazing armed citizen story took place in rural Oregon on Sunday morning, when the woman spotted a man walking down a nearly deserted stretch of Highway 126. When the woman realized the man was bloodied, she pulled over and asked him he was all right, only to hear the man describe how he and his girlfriend had both been kidnapped, and that their assailant was still somewhere in the area.
“He is going to kill me, and he’s probably going to kill you since you are here,” the man told her.
The woman, whose identity we are not revealing, said she told the man to find a place to hide. When she saw another man walking down the highway with a handgun, she got her hunting rifle out and waited for troopers to arrive.
By the time state troopers arrived on scene around 7:30 Sunday morning, the man had fled, but without accosting the armed woman. After speaking with the victim, authorities set out looking for both the suspects and the woman who’d been kidnapped, and thankfully were able to find her a short time later along with 39-year old Michael Light, one of the three men believed to be responsible for the crime.
Investigators say Light and the two other men assaulted the man for an extended period of time in his campsite. Light then kidnapped a woman, who the bear hunter says was the victim’s girlfriend and Light’s ex-girlfriend.
A search found Light and the female victim in a vehicle in the area, and Light was taken into custody. The woman suffered minor injuries.
Police have identified the other two suspects as 31-year old Michael Lokey-Wilson and 28-year old Jonathan Dakota Appelt, both of nearby Florence, Oregon. Unfortunately, at last report both men were still on the run, and authorities say they should be considered armed and dangerous.
Without a doubt this armed citizen saved a life thanks to the fact that she had a rifle at the ready, and her decision to stop and render aid to the stranger may very well have saved the second victim as well. Who knows how long it would have been before authorities were even aware of the crime if she hadn’t been in the right place at the right time, and willing to stop and talk to the kidnapping victim. There’s no word on whether or not she was able to bag a bear on Sunday, but I’d say even if she went home empty-handed, it was still the most important hunting trip she’s ever taken.