Men escape kidnapping attempt by jumping from car north of Phoenix
PHOENIX – Two men kidnapped at the Rock Springs Cafe north of the Phoenix area last week escaped by jumping from a moving vehicle, authorities said Wednesday.
A Prescott woman and two Phoenix-area men were arrested for their alleged roles in the incident, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office press release.
The two victims were riding with the woman, 27-year-old Brittney Jessup, from Prescott to Phoenix in a Chevrolet Sonic on Sept. 3, according to the release. They stopped at the well-known restaurant off Interstate 17 in Black Canyon City, where the men used the restroom.
When they came out, Jessup was sitting in a Ford Fiesta with 34-year-old Jared Daricek of Phoenix, while 33-year-old Zachary Olmsted of Glendale was in the Sonic.
The victims noticed their possessions were missing. Olmsted told them to get into the Sonic if they wanted their things back, the release said. He also allegedly said Jessup owed him money and “something would happen” to her if they didn’t comply.
As the Sonic drove off with Olmsted behind the wheel, one victim, sitting in the front seat, tried to call 911 for help, but Olmsted assaulted him to stop the call, the release said. The other victim, who was in the back, started kicking Olmsted.
The men then jumped out of the moving car on an I-17 on-ramp. A witness who saw the men jump took a cellphone photo of the cars involved.
Detectives used the photo to track the Sonic to Jessup’s residence, and she acknowledge her role in planning the kidnapping, saying the situation involved “a drug deal gone bad,” according to the release.
The other vehicle was tracked to a Phoenix home and then to Daricek, who’d been loaned the car.
The release said Olmsted and Daricek admitted their involvement after detectives tracked them down.
Jessup and Olmsted were in possession of drugs when they were taken into custody, and the victims’ possessions were found in Olmsted’s home.
Jessup was arrested Sept. 4 on charges of assault, kidnapping, endangerment and possession of cocaine.
Daricek was arrested Sept. 6 on charges of assault, kidnapping and endangerment.
Olmsted was arrested the same day as Daricek and was charged with assault, kidnapping, endangerment, theft and possession of a controlled substance.
One of the victims was hospitalized in Phoenix with skin lacerations and head injuries.
The case remains under investigation, the release said.