Man is accused of kidnapping, battery

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PRIEST RIVER — A motorist rescued a passenger who was dangling outside of a moving vehicle during an alleged attack on Dufort Road earlier this summer, according to Bonner County Magistrate Court records.

The driver of the vehicle and the alleged attacker, Jason Courtney Kaelin, is charged with felony second-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor assault and battery counts in connection with the June 3 incident. Kaelin is free on a $30,000 surety bond while the case is pending.

The alleged victim, Kaelin’s former girlfriend, told sheriff’s officials that she had earlier left him in the middle of the night due to his abusiveness. Kaelin proposed meeting up for dinner in Priest River in an attempt to make up with her, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After finishing their meal, the two began driving east on U.S. Highway 2 and Kaelin allegedly uttered that she would feel his heartbreak and punched her in the head and face, the affidavit said. He also allegedly threatened to torture and kill her. She attempted to escape the moving vehicle after it crossed over Merritt Brothers Bridge, but was grabbed by Kaelin, according to the affidavit.

Another motorist told deputies she saw the woman dragging her feet on the ground from the moving vehicle and was able to get out of the vehicle and seek refuge in their vehicle, the affidavit said. Kaelin allegedly sped off and became the subject of a $30,000 arrest warrant, according to court documents.

Deputies in Kootenai County served the warrant on July 17, records show.

The alleged victim moved to dismiss a no-contact order in the case on Wednesday and said the charges against Kaelin were false and she was not in fear for her life during the incident. Judge Tera Harden denied the motion, court documents indicate.

A preliminary hearing on the felony kidnapping charge is set for Aug. 21.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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