A former car salesman has been arrested by FBI agents in Texas on charges that he kidnapped and robbed a disabled customer at a Chattanooga, Tenn., car dealership earlier this month and forced him to use crack while he was holding him.
According to Automotive News, a criminal complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court says Daniel Bryant, who worked at Mountain View Chevrolet in Chattanooga, was charged with kidnapping, bank robbery and extortion and stealing roughly $200,000 from the man’s bank accounts.
Court documents show police were called to a Chattanooga bank on Thursday and spoke with a man who had an amputated leg and was paralyzed on one side. The man said he was kidnapped by Bryant on April 1 when he dropped his truck off at the car dealership where he worked and was forced to withdraw thousands of dollars in cashier’s checks and cash over a two-day period from Bank of America locations in Chattanooga and Douglasville, Ga.
Bryant then deposited $199,000 into his own bank accounts, the affidavit said.
The man, who was not identified, said he had received a financial settlement from severe injuries suffered at work, documents show.
The documents say Bryant took the man across state lines to a hotel near Atlanta and there he took the victims cellphone and credit cards, then forced him to smoke crack cocaine. Afterward, he returned the man to the dealership on April 3.
The victim reported the kidnapping the next day and gave police proof the money had been withdrawn from his account. Law enforcement officials actually caught up with Bryant, but he refused to turn himself in, instead saying he would have his lawyer contact them.
By tracking his phone records, FBI officials eventually caught him nearly 800 miles away in Cedar Hill, Tex. on April 14, when police spotted him leaving a Fairfield Inn and Suites.
BREAKING: According to court documents, former Mountain View Chevy employee Daniel Bryant talked to the FBI on the phone, refused to turn himself in on a kidnapping charge, and then ran to Texas. They found him by tracking his cell phone. pic.twitter.com/L2p8IXiIpa
— Latricia Thomas (@LatriciaTnc9) April 16, 2019
Ely Reyes, Cedar Hill police chief, said his department was notified by FBI agents from the Dallas Office and requested to assist in arresting Bryant. After his arrest, Bryant was taken to the DeSoto city jail for booking and released to the FBI on Tuesday, officials said.
It was not known whether Bryant will face more state or federal charges in connection with his alleged crimes.
“The Chattanooga Police Department is grateful for the assistance we received from the FBI and Cedar Hill, TX Police Department in the apprehension of kidnapping suspect, Daniel Bryant. As a result of their collaboration, a dangerous man is now in custody,” the Chattanooga Police Department said in a statement, according to Automotive News.
Mountain View Chevy released a statement saying that Bryant was fired and that the company was cooperating with authorities.
“The dealership was not involved in, or even aware of, any alleged attempt on the part of Mr. Bryant to defraud a customer of our business,” the statement read.