Michael Tesman: Text messaging victim, stun gun help lead to alleged kidnapper's arrest

Update below: The arrest of Michael Tesman on charges of second-degree kidnapping came together like the law-enforcement equivalent of aligning planets.

Credit goes to the reported victim, Tesman's ex-wife, who was able to text message her son about the situation, plus a helpful bartender and a timely zap from a stun gun.

Here's the account provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office:

On Friday, July 23, 2010 at approximately 3:00PM the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to a Franktown, Colorado restaurant on the report of a woman being held hostage. Deputies secured the area and shut down traffic on highways 83 and 86. It was then determined that the source of the information came from the victim who was texting her son, who called his grandmother. The victim's mother began reporting the events via telephone to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office dispatch center. Shortly after arriving in Franktown and securing the area dispatch was advised that the victim and the suspect, her ex-husband, MICHAEL TESMAN 5/12/1972, had left the Franktown area and were in Castle Rock. The Castle Rock Police Department was notified and, after opening the highways, Douglas County deputies also responded to the Castle Rock area. The victim provided another text stating the she was in the vicinity of the Home Depot store on Founders Parkway and then updated that message with information that she and the suspect were southbound on I25. The next text came from the victim after she and the suspect entered the Castle Rock Bar and Grill. When the suspect entered the men's room the victim told the bartender that she was being kidnapped. The bartender called 911, Castle Rock Dispatch Center, who then passed the location information to law enforcement. After securing the area, four undercover officers entered the bar and placed the suspect under arrest. The suspect resisted and an officer used a stun gun to gain his compliance.

After that, several members of the Douglas County SWAT team "entered and secured the facility," which presumably made Tesman even more compliant -- as did the no-bond hold that was slapped on him shortly thereafter. He's scheduled for a court appearance today on charges that include 2nd degree kidnapping, 2nd degree assault, resisting arrest, false imprisonment, domestic violence, violation of a restraining order and parole violation.

Last year, texting played a role in the capture of suspects in a similar crime. Read about it in this post: "Text This: Kidnapping Foiled by Stealthy Thumb Work."

Update, July 30: The charges against Michael Tesman no longer include kidnapping. Get more information in this post: "Michael Tesman: No Kidnapping Charge in Case of Text-message-aided Bust."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts