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UPDATED: Man wanted in attack on 79-year-old man in Lakewood now in custody

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on July 31, 2009 at 8:06 am with No Comments »
July 31, 2009 8:06 am

A man wanted in connection with the kidnap and assault of a 79-year-old man last month in Lakewood has been found.

Prosecutors had charged Bryan Lee Stetson, 37, last month with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault. An arrest warrant was issued June 17.

California police officers arrested Stetson earlier this month. Lakewood police had asked them for their help in locating Stetson, who is from California, police Lt. Heidi Hoffman said Friday. A Lakewood police detective went to Bakersfield, Calif., and interviewed Stetson on July 17.

Stetson was escorted back to Pierce County last night by deputies and booked into Pierce County Jail,.

He is expected to make his first court appearances on the charges this afternoon.

Prosecutors have alleged Stetson and the victim had been sharing a room at the Gloria Motel, 10005 South Tacoma Way, in Lakewood for several days. Officers and paramedics were called to the room about 4:30 p.m. June 12.

The victim had bruises around his eyes and on his arms and torso. His hands were discolored, he had open wounds on his arms and his skin was torn and bleeding.

The victim was hospitalized and went into cardiac arrest.

The victim has been unable to tell officers what happened.

A witness told Lakewood police that she’d been sitting outside the motel room, talking to Stetson for several hours. He kept saying he’d had a fight with the victim.

“When she asked Stetson about the fight he told her that it was ‘personal,’ ” court documents state. “She noted what appeared to be blood on Stetson’s clothing (coveralls).”

The woman asked if the victim was all right and Stetson said they should go see. They entered the room and the witness saw the victim crawling on the floor, unable to get up.

“He appeared to have been badly beaten,” court documents state. “She asked (the victim) if he was OK and he responded, ‘I’m trying.’ “

The witness left the room and reported what she saw to the motel manager. Meanwhile, Stetson was seen leaving. His car was found the next day in Tacoma and towed away for processing. The motel room also was processed for evidence.

Stetson returned to the motel Saturday and asked to be let into the room to retrieve his identification so he could fly to Alaska. Though he was denied, he got in anyway and took a bag from the room.

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