A Darby man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of felony kidnapping after witnesses reported seeing a woman yelling for help from a truck window as the vehicle drove through Florence.
Randall Robert Keller, 58, appeared Thursday in Ravalli County Justice Court on the felony charge and misdemeanor counts of partner/family member assault, driving under the influence, criminal destruction or tampering with a communications device and driving with a suspended license.
According to Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Angela Wetzsteon’s charging affidavit, a sheriff’s officer was dispatched to Florence after a witness reported seeing a woman yelling from the window of pickup truck for someone to call 911.
The witness said the woman had attempted to jump out of the truck.
The vehicle was spotted on U.S. Highway 93 and stopped. When the officer approached the vehicle, he overhead the woman tell Keller that he would not hit her again, the affidavit said.
Keller told the officer that he and his wife were headed home from Missoula, according to the charging documents. He also told the officer that he had consumed three alcoholic drinks that morning, and admitted that his driver’s license had been suspended in California, the affidavit said.
The woman told the officer that she wanted to get out of the truck several times, the affidavit said. She said she had been opening the door and screaming from the passenger window for someone to call law enforcement.
At one point when the truck came to a stop in Florence, the woman said she tried to get out but when she reached back for her purse, Keller grabbed her and pulled her back inside.
The woman said she asked Keller repeatedly to stop and let her get out of the truck, but he refused. The affidavit said she told the officer Keller had painfully grabbed her right breast and head. She said she was afraid of him because he had assaulted her previously, the affidavit said.
While speaking to the officer, the woman was crying and kept repeating that she just wanted someone to help her.
Keller told the officer the couple had been arguing because his wife wanted to go the bathroom and he told her it would be a few minutes before they could stop. The affidavit said Keller admitted that his wife asked him multiple times to let her leave, and that he had grabbed her and pulled her back in the truck.
The officer noted that Keller appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Keller provided a breath sample that registered at .086 breath alcohol concentration. In Montana, a driver is considered impaired at .08 BAC. Keller has a prior conviction for DUI in California in 2018.
Justice Jim Bailey set bail at $10,000.