Police: Suspect arrested after armed kidnapping, robbery in Murray

Photo of a suspect wanted in an armed, attempted carjacking Sunday in Murray. Image: Murray Police Department

MURRAY, Utah, Aug. 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Salt Lake County man has been booked into jail on multiple felony charges after an alleged kidnapping and robbery outside a Murray Denny’s restaurant on Sunday.

Russell Ryan Carter, 44, was arrested Monday night in connection with a Sunday incident in which a victim says he pointed a firearm at her before leaving a Denny’s parking lot and entering a nearby Shell station, where he was recorded on surveillance video.

Carter managed to leave the gas station before police arrived and surrounded it, believing him to be inside. They later discovered he had left.

Carter faces charges of:

  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated robbery, a  first-degree felony
  • Theft of a firearm or operable vehicle, a second-degree felony

Carter’s probable cause statement says Murray Police officers were dispatched to the Denny’s at 420 W. 4500 South.

“Per dispatch, the complainant stated that a male pointed a firearm at her, and ran to the Shell gas station next door,” the statement says. “The suspect left before police arrived. Police checked the video surveillance of the Shell gas station, and were able to get a photo of the suspect. The suspect was wearing a pink skirt with a dark shirt, a hat, and a backpack.

“The victim stated that the suspect was putting items away in a vehicle before approaching her. Officers ran the registration of the vehicle the suspect was seen in, and contacted the registered owner. The owner advised officers that his son, Russell Carter, drives the vehicle. Officers were able to find a photo of Russell Carter, and it matched the suspect description given.”

The woman said she had left work and was sitting in her car to look at her phone when the suspect walked up on knocked on her window, then opened the door.

“The victim stated she went to exit her vehicle, and the suspect pushed her back into it with small compact black firearm pointed at her.

“The victim stated the suspect told her to move over to the front passenger seat. The victim stated the suspect entered her vehicle on the driver’s front door, and kept poking her shoulder with the gun.”

The woman told officers she told the suspect she did not have the keys, and friends were waiting for her inside the restaurant.

“The victim stated that the suspect told her he didn’t want to hurt her. The victim stated the suspect then exited his car and went to the Shell gas station.”

Later on Sunday, a red van was stolen, the Murray Police statement says.

“Video surveillance of the theft shows Russell Carter taking the vehicle. Russell was taken into custody on 08/09/2021.”

Carter told officers post Miranda that he was at the Denny’s in the pink skirt, the statement says.

“Russell stated he was very high on drugs that day. Russell first stated that the girl approached his vehicle and made some comments that he took to be sexual in nature. Russell first denied going to the victim’s car. After officers continued to ask Russell, he finally admitted to going to the victim’s car. Russell stated he startled her, and opened her door. Russell stated he remembers getting into her front seat, and asking her to move over.

“Russell stated he remembers the look on her face, and he realized he was doing something wrong.”

Carter stated that after that he ran, the police statement says, adding that he “denied having his handgun on him, and stated he left it in the safe at home.”

Carter told officers he remembered he left the area, and woke up later in a van, “but wasn’t sure how he got into it, or what he was doing there. Russell stated his memory wasn’t the best due to the drugs he took.”

The officer’s statement says that since the incident, Carter had been living on the streets, and could not be located.

“Russell told officers post Miranda that he wanted to leave the state and go to the mountains after he saw the allegations on the news, and didn’t see another way out.” The probable cause statement says it is likely he would flee if released, so suggested he be held without bail, which records show is the case.

The gun reported used in the kidnapping attempt has not been recovered, Carter’s affidavit says, but other firearms were found at his home.

Gephardt Daily will have more information on this case as the story develops.


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