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Woman uses bear rifle to stop kidnapping near Walton

She spotted the man, who was badly beaten, on Highway 126 near Walton while heading to go bear hunting.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 1:06 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2020 7:24 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – A local woman used her bear rifle to save a kidnapping victim from possibly being murdered on Sunday, keeping one of the armed assailants at bay.

In an interview with KEZI 9 News, the woman said she spotted the man, who was badly beaten, on Highway 126 near Walton as she was on her way to go bear hunting. After calling 911 the victim told her he and his girlfriend had been kidnapped, and the kidnapper was driving his car, which was parked nearby.

Michael Light

“He is going to kill me, and he's probably going to kill you since you are here,” the man told her.

The woman, whose identity we are not revealing, said she told the man to find a place to hide. When she saw another man walking down the highway with a handgun, she got her hunting rifle out and waited for troopers to arrive. 

Troopers arrived to the scene at about 7:30 a.m. but the suspect had already fled the scene on foot. He and a second suspect remain at large, and a third was taken into custody.

Michael Light, 39, of Florence, faces charges of second-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping.

Investigators say Light and the two other men assaulted the man for an extended period of time in his campsite. Light then kidnapped a woman, who the bear hunter says was the victim's girlfriend and Light's ex-girlfriend.

A search found Light and the female victim in a vehicle in the area, and Light was taken into custody. The woman suffered minor injuries.

Michael Lokey-Wilson, 31, of Florence and Jonathan Dakota Appelt, 28, of Florence were identified as the other two suspects involved. If you have any information about their whereabouts, OSP asks that you contact Springfield Area Command at 541-726-2536. Authorities ask the public not to make contact with the men as they should be considered armed and dangerous.

Jonathan Dakota Appelt

Michael Lokey-Wilson

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