A Spokane man implicated in a March beating traveled to Iowa in an effort to keep a witness quiet, prompting a interstate kidnapping case that ended in arrest Friday, according to court documents.
George Rosenbaum, 34, faces charges of robbery and kidnapping after investigators say he roused a former friend from a home near downtown Sioux City in the early morning hours last week, threatening to burn the house down. The man had planned to testify against Rosenbaum at an assault trial scheduled to begin early next month.
Rosenbaum and two accomplices took the man on a harrowing road trip after stripping him of $700 in cash, his cellphone and a leather “Indiana Jones-like hat,” according to court documents. The trio threatened the man with torture, he told police, and pointed a gun at him in an effort to get him to testify Rosenbaum was provoked in the Spokane attack for which he faces a charge of second-degree assault.
The victim was not allowed to leave the car to use the bathroom, he told investigators. Rosenbaum threatened to kill him in a secluded area near Butte, Mont., before another car approached and spooked the gunman, according to court documents.
On Friday, the men pulled into a convenience store around 10 a.m. so Rosenbaum could buy cigarettes, the victim told police. The man sprinted from the car to a nearby grocery store, where he called police.
According to court records, Rosenbaum showed up to a pretrial hearing about two hours later. When police showed up at his door later that day, Rosenbaum fled in his car and led police on a short foot chase before he was arrested, according to court documents.
Rosenbaum denied taking the man against his will and said the pair made the road trip alone together. Gas station surveillance footage from Montana, however, showed the two other men the victim described, one a white man in his late 20s or early 30s with a “scruffy” goatee and an unshaven face, standing around 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build. The other alleged accomplice was a Hispanic man standing a little over 6 feet, weighing 200 pounds with a thin chinstrap beard and a moustache.
Rosenbaum was armed with a gun and wore a bulletproof vest throughout the encounter, the victim told police. Rosenbaum posted bond over the weekend and was released, according to jail records.