Nation/World

Effort To Kidnap City Official Fails Councilwoman Fights Off Man Police Say Mailed Threats

A man who has sent threatening letters to City Councilwoman Colleen Allison for several months tried to kidnap her from her home Saturday night, Acting Police Chief Dave Perry said Sunday.

Allison fought the man off and called police, Perry said.

“It appears to be a failed kidnap attempt,” he said.

Allison was taken to North Valley Hospital in Whitefish by ambulance, but her injuries were minor and she was not kept overnight, he said.

“I’m OK. I’m just a little bit shook up,” Allison told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Sunday.

She said the trip to the hospital was mostly precautionary because of a previous back injury.

Allison, a former mayor, declined to give details of the attack, saying police had asked her not to comment while they were investigating.

Perry said Allison, a widow and alone in her home, was attacked when she answered her front doorbell about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

The attacker was the man who hit Allison on the head and slammed her into a garage wall at her home last September and has sent increasingly frequent and increasingly threatening letters ever since, Perry said.

He declined to say why he believes the attackers are the same person, or why he believes Saturday’s attack was an attempt to kidnap Allison rather than injure or kill her. He said Allison was unable to give much of a description.

Police previously have distributed a sketch of a suspect, interviewed numerous people and even held lineups of possible suspects.

Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. provides her a part-time bodyguard, but he was not with her Saturday night, Perry said.

Police believe the attacks and letters are related to Allison’s strong support for the aluminum company and other development for Columbia Falls, but they say the letters have been unclear. She has not been directly involved with the company for several years.

After the attack in September police found a cryptic spray-painted message on a storage building: “Don’t Save the Plant.”

She has received threatening letters at least once a week since September, and four came in one week this month. They “explicitly threaten bodily harm” and have become increasingly more threatening, she said this month.

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