Deputies say man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, ordered her to drive him to Tooele County residence

Tooele County Sheriff's vehicle. Photo: Gephardt Daily /Monico Garza/SLCScanner

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 28, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 58-year-old man was arrested Saturday after police say he kidnapped a woman at gunpoint and ordered her to drive him to a Tooele County residence, where he then held three other people hostage.

Tooele County sheriff’s deputies first responded to reports of a man, later identified as Sammy Eugene Woodroe Blackbear, discharging a firearm near the Skull Valley Indian Reservation.

Those 911 calls were followed by reports about the same man holding a woman at gunpoint and threatening “to shoot her if she did not drive him out of the area,” according to a probable cause statement filed in Tooele’s 3rd District Court.

Deputies say Blackbear pointed a handgun at the woman “multiple times” and discharged the weapon out the window twice while she drove him north on State Route 196 (Skull Valley Road) toward Grantsville.

When the woman objected to driving him to Grantsville, Blackbear “forced the muzzle of the firearm to her thigh” and said, “I’ll shoot your foot off if you don’t keep driving,” according to the probable cause statement.

The woman continued to drive Blackbear toward Grantsville until he told her to stop at a undisclosed residence in Tooele County, the statement continues. At the residence, Blackbear was approached by two people and later entered the residence with them while still holding the handgun, according to the sheriff’s office.

The woman managed to escape while Blackbear was inside the residence, deputies said. Once inside, Blackbear refused to leave and ordered the three individuals in the residence to lock the door, according to the statement.

Deputies said Blackbear “would not leave the residence and continued to hold the handgun in his hand, placing his finger on the trigger multiple times.”

A hostage negotiator later arrived and was able to persuade the man to peacefully exit the residence, according to the statement.

Blackbear was booked into the Tooele County Detention Center for investigation of four counts of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; and one count of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and two counts of discharge of a firearm, all third-degree felonies. He is being held without bail.


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