A Vancouver man is accused of kidnapping an undercover informant for the Vancouver Police Department during a drug sting and assaulting the informant at his house.
Rodney I. Naal, 28, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping with bodily injury, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and attempting to elude. His bail was set at $250,000, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 10, court records show.
On Jan. 12, Vancouver police officers worked with a confidential informant to attempt to buy drugs from Naal in the parking lot of the Vancouver Mall, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Before meeting with Naal, officers with the Safe Streets Task Force searched the informant to be sure he didn't have any drugs with him and gave him cash to buy the drugs from Naal, court records state.
During the sting, officers kept watch on the informant as he met with Naal, according to the affidavit. Investigators said they'd arranged for the deal to happen quickly and the two to part ways immediately after.
Instead, officers saw the informant get inside Naal's black Mustang, and it left the parking lot. They followed it until it arrived at Naal's house, according to court records.
Believing the deal would happen there instead, officers said, they surrounded the house, and the informant initially stayed in constant contact with them, the affidavit states.
But after several hours, the informant stopped communicating with investigators. Several more hours passed, and officers grew concerned over the number of cars coming and going at the house, the affidavit states.
Eventually, they saw the informant come out of the house with Naal and get into the Mustang, with Naal in the driver's seat, according to court records.
Officers then received a text from the informant that said "911," which the affidavit states was a pre-arranged message to indicate the informant was in serious trouble.
Investigators called for officers in the area to attempt to stop the Mustang, because they believed the informant was being kidnapped, court records state.
When police tried to stop the Mustang, they said, it drove away from them recklessly, at one point reaching 116 mph. The Mustang eventually crossed the Interstate 5 Bridge into Portland, where Portland police continued to pursue the car, court records state.
The Mustang crashed near North Interstate Avenue and Argyle Street in Portland, and officers detained Naal and the informant.
Police said the informant was visibly injured. He told them he was held against his will for at least an hour in the garage of the house before Naal and others sprayed him with bear mace, stripped him naked and dragged him to the backyard, according to the affidavit.
He said he also may have been struck with a stun gun and a baseball bat. He couldn't see what he was hit with, he said, because of the bear mace. Three men also stomped on his head and told him they were going to kill him, the affidavit states.
The informant told officers the men thought he was going to steal from them, because of the amount of drugs he was trying to buy, and they believed he had robbed others, according to court records.
Paramedics evaluated the informant and found he had several contusions to his head and face, along with bruising on his body and the back of his head, according to court records.
Naal declined to speak with officers, the affidavit states.