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Three people arrested in kidnapping, extortion case
A suspect is accused of attacking the victim in the Sears department store
FARMINGTON — Three people are facing charges including accusations of assault, battery and kidnapping after allegedly attempting to extort $400 from a man.
Rio Rancho resident Alan Meyer, 52, was arrested on Dec. 29 and faces five charges including a second-degree felony count of kidnapping and a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery, according to court records.
Krista Shepard, 35, of Albuquerque, and Lincoln Nelson, 28, of Clovis, were also arrested on Dec. 29 in connection with the alleged incident, according to court records. All three suspects are accused of a fourth-degree felony count of false imprisonment.
Shepard and Nelson also face charges including a third-degree felony count of extortion and assault with intent to commit a violent felony.
Officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched about 11:36 a.m. on Dec. 29 to the Sears department store at the Animas Valley Mall on reports of men fighting, according to the probable cause statement.
Meyer was handcuffed and in the custody of mall security when officers arrived.
Meyer is accused of punching the alleged victim in the face inside the store and then striking him multiple times with a ball attached to a long, thin rope. Police received security camera footage of that incident, and store employees later recovered the weapon and gave it to police.
A Sears employee intervened and separated the two men, according to court documents.
The employee told police he was following Meyer out of the store after separating the men when Meyer punched him in the face. He responded by tackling Meyer and holding him on the ground until mall security arrived.
During an interview with police, the alleged victim stated he was trying to get away from Meyer.
He added he was hanging out with a friend at the Northern Edge Navajo Casino in Upper Fruitland earlier in the day when they caught a ride into Farmington from a person later identified as Nelson.
Nelson allegedly dropped off the victim's friend and then drove the alleged victim to the Rimrock Lodge at 2530 Bloomfield Highway.
Inside the motel room, Nelson allegedly threatened the victim with a knife and threatened to tie him up, according to court documents.
The alleged victim "said the male yelled, 'get the .357 babe,' but a handgun was never pulled out," a court document stated.
A female later identified as Shepard was also in the room and allegedly accused the victim of robbing her and battering her. The victim stated he has never met Shepard or Nelson before.
Meyer then arrived at the motel room, and court documents say the alleged victim was ordered to call someone to bring him $400.
The victim called a random number on his cell phone and asked for the money.
He then told Meyer and Nelson that the person on the phone would bring him $400 to a Wells Fargo bank, according to court documents.
The victim told police he selected the bank because it was near the mall and it had security.
Meyer allegedly drove the victim to the mall and parked the vehicle.
The victim told Meyer his phone battery was about to die and that they should steal a phone charger for him from the Dollar Tree store.
The men started walking towards the mall when the victim claimed he left his cell phone in the vehicle, according to court documents.
When Meyer allegedly turned around to get the phone out of the vehicle, the victim started running towards the entrance to Sears.
Meyer allegedly chased the victim into and through the store as the victim screamed for help, according to a witness.
The three suspects have their preliminary hearings scheduled for Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.
They were incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center as of this morning.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.