Man accused of kidnapping Bloomberg housekeeper from Colorado ranch

A gunman broke into the Colorado ranch of former Democratic presidential candidate Michael R. Bloomberg and abducted a housekeeper, aski...


A gunman broke into the Colorado ranch of former Democratic presidential candidate Michael R. Bloomberg and abducted a housekeeper, asking her where Mr. Bloomberg’s two adult daughters were, the authorities said. authorities in court documents filed this week.

The man, Joseph Beecher, 48, faces state and federal charges including kidnapping after he was accused of ramming his van through the front gate of Westlands Ranch in Rio Blanco County Wednesday. Mr. Bloomberg and his family were not present at the ranch at the time, officials said.

But Mr Beecher told the housekeeper he had hoped to ‘make an international scene’ with Mr Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, or with his daughters, before kidnapping the worker under the threat of a weapon, according to court records.

She was forced to drive Mr. Beecher in a van about 230 miles east to the Denver area and then to a town near the southern Wyoming border before authorities found them both in a motel early Thursday, officials said. The woman, identified as a ranch housekeeper, was found unharmed.

Mr. Beecher was arrested, authorities said, and an AR-15 type rifle and several magazines were inside the room. He was taken to a jail in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he was held without bond. Saturday morning, we didn’t know if he had a lawyer.

The Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office in northwest Colorado said in a statement Thursday that Mr. Beecher had no apparent connection to the Bloombergs.

But according to court documents, he initially asked about the former mayor’s two daughters – Emma, ​​42, and Georgina, 39 – by name. He then told the housekeeper that he also went to a nearby airport this summer to look for Mr Bloomberg, the documents show.

Ty Trippet, a spokesman for Mr Bloomberg, said in a statement that the former mayor was “deeply grateful” to authorities for “ensuring that no lives were lost and that the victim was rescued and safely returned to her family.”

Mr. Beecher has also been identified as the suspect in a burglary in Craig, Colorado, a small town about 70 miles from Mr. Bloomberg’s ranch, where officials said he was given accommodation in exchange repair work. The day before authorities announced the employee’s abduction, he was told he would be removed from his job and had to move, according to court documents.

Mr Beecher later argued with his landlord, who eventually discovered that two guns and ammunition had been stolen from his personal accommodation, according to court documents.

Authorities said they believe that soon after Mr Beecher visited the 4,600 acre ranch in Rio Blanco County, which Mr. Bloomberg bought in 2020 for nearly $45 million.

The employee — whose full name was originally released by the sheriff’s office, but was later referred to only by her initials in state and federal court documents — told authorities she worked in an upstairs bedroom of the ranch when Mr. Beecher appeared behind her. He had a big gun “pointed at his face”, the federal complaint saysand, using an expletive, he threatened to shoot her if she did not lead him.

While driving, Mr. Beecher forced the woman to make several stops, including to withdraw several hundred dollars from an ATM, according to court documents. He often made “threatening statements”, including warning her that he would shoot passers-by at a gas station if she tried to get help, according to the documents.

Mr Beecher also made the woman sleep in the same bed with him, her head on his chest and his arm around her waist, orders which she gave to the authorities whom she followed lest he do her harm. trouble, according to the documents.

The two were found after investigators said they used an app on the woman’s phone – which was left at the ranch – to track her iPad to the Wyoming motel. Officials said she was asked to book their room under false names.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Man accused of kidnapping Bloomberg housekeeper from Colorado ranch
Man accused of kidnapping Bloomberg housekeeper from Colorado ranch
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