A New York landlord faces kidnapping charges after police say he grew so frustrated with COVID eviction restrictions he took matters into his own hands.
At around 1 a.m. Feb. 21, Shawn Douglas, 48, allegedly targeted two sleeping tenants — a 32-year-old man and 21-year-old woman — by binding them with plastic ties and tape and throwing pillowcases over their heads, the Albany Times Union reported, citing law enforcement sources and police records.
During the incident, Douglas and possibly two other accomplices allegedly kicked and punched the male victim, the report states.
Property records indicate Douglas and the two alleged victims all lived in a multi-unit Albany residence the suspect has owned since 2006.
At dawn, the man and women later told police, Douglas allegedly loaded them up at gunpoint into his SUV and drove to a motel. He then brought the still-bound pair to a cemetery located in a rural area 35 miles from Albany and left them stranded in the snow, according to police records, which noted the suspect “did expose the victims to a risk of serious physical injury.”
After Douglas drove away, the woman freed herself from her restraints and found help, the report reads.
Douglas was arraigned on charges of second-degree kidnapping and has bonded out of the Albany County jail.
New York State placed a moratorium on residential evictions until at least May 1 for tenants who have suffered coronavirus-related hardships.