(Reprinted with permission from the Times Union)
GHENT—An Albany landlord was charged with kidnapping after allegedly tying up two tenants with zip ties and tape, placing pillowcases over their heads and driving them at gunpoint to a rural cemetery in Columbia County where he dumped them in the snow before dawn, Sunday, February 21, according to law enforcement sources and police records.
The landlord, Shawn Douglas, 48, was allegedly armed with a firearm throughout the incident and may have received help from two other suspects, according to police records. No other arrests have been reported. The alleged kidnapping unfolded between and 1 and 8 a.m. February 21.
The incident began at the multi-unit Grandview Terrace residence in Albany, where Mr. Douglas and his two tenants resided in the city’s South End. Mr. Douglas, who police records indicate has been arrested previously for charges ranging from assault to violating an order of protection, has owned the residence since 2006, according to property records. The tenants were a 21-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man. They could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Douglas had apparently grown frustrated because he had been unable to evict the tenants due to Covid-19 restrictions, law enforcement sources said. The tenants were both sleeping at the time that he is accused of attacking and tying them up. The 32-year-old male tenant was allegedly punched and kicked by Mr. Douglas and two others before being tied up.
Police reports on the incident do not provide any details on the other suspects.
After the man and woman were bound, Mr. Douglas allegedly loaded them into what they told police was a Dodge Durango. With the help of the two other unidentified suspects, they drove the man and woman to a motel that the victims told police may have been in Colonie. From there, they were driven to the isolated cemetery in Ghent.
Police reports indicate that Mr. Douglas left them tied up in the snow-covered cemetery and drove away. The woman was able to untie herself and walked to a nearby residence to summon help.
By allegedly leaving the pair tied up and abandoning them in the wintry conditions, Mr. Douglas “did expose the victims to a risk of serious physical injury,” a police report states.
Mr. Douglas was arrested the afternoon of February 22 and arraigned on charges of second-degree kidnapping. He was being held at Albany County jail on $50,000 bond.