Durango police arrested a man Friday evening after a report of an attempted kidnapping. A woman reportedly escaped after telling the man she was sick and needed to use the restroom at the Durango Walmart.
Lee Roy Cole, 51, was arrested shortly before 6 p.m. in the Home Depot parking lot. The Durango Police Department had received a report that the woman had been kidnapped in Cortez and was hiding in the women’s bathroom at the Walmart.
The woman, identified as Cortez resident Deanna Tindall, 44, was recovered without incident.
Cole will be transferred to the custody of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. He is wanted for defrauding an innkeeper in Cortez.
Lt. Ted Meador of the Montezuma sheriff’s office said he won’t know until Monday what additional charges will be filed against Cole.
Lt. Ray Shupe of the Durango Police Department said the incident apparently started after Cole was sought on a warrant requested by a Cortez police investigator. Cole reportedly fled to Oceanside, Calif., where he was arrested, bonded out, then fled the bond and returned to Cortez.
The warrant was issued for defrauding an innkeeper. A couple of agents, who possibly represented the bonding service, Shupe said, tracked Cole to Cortez and discovered him at the Ute Mountain Casino in Towaoc.
“They had talked him into surrendering,” Shupe said. “When he came out and saw several cops in the parking lot, he freaked out and took off with Tindall in the car.”
Tindall told police that she told Cole she didn’t want to go and asked him to let her out of the car, but he wouldn’t.
“Meanwhile, a deputy from the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office stopped the bonding agents for reckless driving because they were pursuing him,” Shupe said.
When Cole reached Durango, Tindall apparently convinced him she was sick, so he let her go into the bathroom at Walmart. She told police he had a handgun in the van, but Cole never entered Walmart or used the weapon.
Shupe said Tindall and Cole apparently had a relationship before the incident, and that she, too, had been arrested on a warrant for defrauding an innkeeper.