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Dunbar man arrested in kidnapping, robbery of handicapped man

DUNBAR, W.Va. -- Police arrested a Dunbar man they said kidnapped and robbed a stranded handicapped man last week.

Dunbar Police Patrolman L.S. Hayes was called to Ralph Gillenwater's house in the 500 block of 18th Street in Dunbar on Thursday for a larceny complaint, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Gillenwater said he was at the Go-Mart on 16th Street in Dunbar when his motorized wheelchair quit working. He is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair to get around, according to the complaint.

A man at the Go-Mart, later identified as Cody Ray Taylor, of Dunbar, agreed to push him home because it was on his way, police said.

However, Taylor pushed Gillenwater to his grandmother's house on 17th Street and told him he was being robbed. He picked Gillenwater up, carried him through the house and threw him onto a bedroom chair, according to the complaint.

Gillenwater began emptying his pockets as Taylor allegedly punched him in the face, according to the complaint.

At one point Taylor's grandmother came in and asked him to stop hitting Gillenwater because he is handicapped, according to the complaint. Taylor said he was a member of the "Bloods gang and they made money by robbing people."

Taylor took 80 Xanax pills and about $50 in cash, police said. Taylor then held a large hunting knife to Gillenwater's throat and threatened to kill him, his family and children if he contacted police, according to the complaint.

Taylor put Gillenwater back into his wheelchair and pushed him home a couple of blocks away.

Officer Hayes said Gillenwater was taken to Thomas Memorial Hospital where doctors treated him for a partially broken jaw.

Taylor, who owns a police scanner, heard dispatchers discussing the incident and called the Dunbar Police Department.

He told police Gillenwater tried to sell him Xanax pills at his house and that Gillenwater "tried to swing at him," according to the complaint.

Police asked Taylor how Gillenwater got into the house without a wheelchair ramp.

"Well it was some [homosexual] [explicative]," Taylor said. "I carried him inside."

Police arrested Taylor Tuesday morning. He was charged him with felony kidnapping, armed robbery and assault during the commission of a felony. He is being held in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000, or 10 percent cash, bond. If convicted, he faces no less than 10 years in prison.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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