Four men allegedly took part in a torturing a man in Laurel County by pulling his teeth with pliers to try to get information on a stolen truck, a federal agent said in a sworn statement.
The victim, identified only as Victim 1 or V1 in the document, said assailants beat him, burned him with hot metal, and one of them pulled out three of his teeth with pliers, according to the affidavit. A fourth tooth was broken.
“V1 stated that he thought he was not going to survive,” Raleigh Benge, a task force officer with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in the statement.
The alleged attack happened in the spring of 2017, but police made arrests only recently after a man involved in the incident provided information.
Police arrested Sean Frederick, 32, of Keavy, in Laurel County, on Dec. 7 and Nigel Medlin, 27, of Rockholds, in Whitley County, on Dec. 11. Federal authorities filed a complaint Friday against Eric Wayne Collins, 32, of London.
They are charged with kidnapping.
Gene Jones, 38, of East Bernstadt, allegedly took part in the attack as well, according to court records.
All four were being held at the Laurel County Detention Center..
ATF officer Benge said in the affidavit that a person charged in another case, identified as a “cooperating defendant,” told authorities in late October that he had been involved in the attack in 2017.
Frederick’s truck had been stolen and he wanted the witness to help find the person identified as V1, according to the affidavit.
The witness said he contacted V1 by Facebook Messenger and made a deal to meet him at Walmart in London to buy methamphetamine from him.
When he arrived, however, the witness and Nigel Medlin, both armed with pistols, got into the SUV in which V1 was a passenger and ordered the driver to go to Jones’ house in the north end of the county, according to the witness’s account.
In a separate interview with Todd Tremaine, an agent with ATF, the victim said Medlin put a knife to his throat and the cooperating defendant hit him in the face with a pistol as they drove.
At the house, the victim’s hands were bound behind his back with barbed wire while he sat in a metal chair, the victim said.
The man said Frederick kicked him in the head, Medlin hit him with a small baseball bat, and that Collins pulled his teeth with a pair of pliers.
The victim said Frederick hit him more times than he could remember, Benge said in an affidavit.
The assailants told V1 they would stop the torture if he told them where Frederick’s truck was, the cooperating defendant told authorities.
The victim initially didn’t admit being involved in the theft.
But the cooperating witness said that after he, Medlin and Collins burned the victim with a propane torch, he admitted someone paid him meth to take the truck, according to Benge’s affidavit.
Frederick told ATF agent Tremaine that Frederick was involved in the kidnapping and that he punched V1 in the jaw. But Frederick said he left the room when others got out the torch and “didn’t do any of that sick sh--,” according to the affidavit.
Frederick said he drove separately to Jones’ house and that when he got there, the victim was tied up and crying.
The man who was involved in the assault, but ultimately gave information to police, said the attackers eventually freed the victim and two people with him after threatening to hurt them if they reported the incident to police, Benge said in the affidavit.