Kidnapped woman jumps from vehicle | SierraSun.com
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Kidnapped woman jumps from vehicle

Irwin M. Goldberg

Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and HASTY Team members spent Monday afternoon combing Highway 28 from Winding Way to Stateline searching for evidence related to a Sunday kidnapping.

The victim, a 21-year-old Homewood woman, jumped out of a moving vehicle to escape from her attacker in Agate Bay, suffering bruises and cuts but no life-threatening injuries.

Deputies from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Incline substation arrested the suspect, 38-year-old Douglas T. Gildark, at gunpoint at about 1:40 p.m. Sunday on Highway 28 near Lakeshore West.

The incident is under investigation by three different law enforcement agencies each with its own interest in the case.

The victim was allegedly hitchhiking Sunday afternoon on Highway 28 east of Tahoe City when the suspect, later identified as Gildark, stopped to pick her up.

“She climbed in, he pulled a gun and got one handcuff on her and told her to cuff herself,” said Sgt. Bill Langton of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

She was then seatbelted into the vehicle.

The victim struggled with Gildark and attempted to free herself several times before succeeding near Sahara Drive in Agate Bay where she was able to open the vehicle door and jump out.

The vehicle had been traveling at about 40-50 mph when the victim escaped, Langton said.

A motorist driving behind Gildark saw him holding a gun and the victim throwing herself from the car and called the California Highway Patrol from a cellular phone, according to a Washoe County Sheriff’s Office press release.

A description of the car, a brown Volkswagen Thing with dark spots, and the suspect was broadcast to all law enforcement officers in the area and deputies from the Incline Village substation saw the vehicle on Highway 28 near Lakeshore West where they pulled the car over and removed Gildark at gunpoint according to felony car stop procedures, said WCSO Lt. Jim Musick.

Gildark didn’t resist and was taken into custody.

During the car stop, however, deputies observed him throwing something into the vehicle. Later, deputies discovered it was a mini flashlight that had been converted into a firearm, Musick said.

On Monday morning, Carson City Justice of the Peace John Tatro signed a search warrant so authorities could search Gildark’s home on Tiger Drive. It was approved to look for silencers and sawed off firearms, said Noel Waters, Carson City District Attorney. A supplement was added to allow police to look for embezzled electrical parts from Gildark’s employer Mallory Electric, Waters said.

During the search, Carson City Sheriff’s Office investigators found numerous assault weapons, silencers, a sawed off pistol, a machine detectives believe is used to make silencers and numerous cans of black powder.

“The children use the room filled with weapons as a common entryway to their bedroom,” according to a detective’s report.

Mrs. Gildark, 41, is accused of manufacturing dangerous weapons and child endangerment. She bailed out on a $2,000 bond Monday.

“(Gildark) informed me prior to arrest that she knew the cans of black powder were stored near her children’s room and that her husband makes and manufactures weapons,” the arrest sheet reads.

Meanwhile, deputies searching for anything that may have been thrown from the vehicle, including the victim’s personal belongings, came up empty-handed.

Authorities also took fingernail scraping samples from Gildark, according to a seizure order returned to Incline Justice Court.

“There must have been marks on her they felt they could match. That was the representation from Placer County Sheriff’s Office detectives,” Judge Jim Mancuso said.

Gildark had nothing in his past to indicate a pattern of crime, authorities said. He has some criminal records from about 15 years ago for property-related crimes, Langton said, adding that Gildark wasn’t talking with authorities about the alleged kidnapping.

He is being held at the Washoe County Detention Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail on suspicion of being a fugitive and possession of a dangerous weapon.

Langton said the case has been forwarded to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office for review and determination of charges.

Charges initially being sought are kidnapping, possession of a loaded firearm, commission of a felony while armed with a firearm, possession of a concealed weapon in a vehicle and battery with serious bodily injury.

The case is still under investigation.

-Bonanza News Service reporter Jody Rice contributed to this story


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