Four facing charges of kidnapping and assault in Penticton

New charges have been laid on four men allegedly involved with the kidnapping of a Penticton man in May.

Kerry Ellis is one of four men who have been charged with kidnapping and assault for an alleged incident that occurred in Penticton in May.

Kerry Ellis is one of four men who have been charged with kidnapping and assault for an alleged incident that occurred in Penticton in May.

New charges have been laid on four men allegedly involved with the kidnapping of a Penticton man in May.

RCMP previously told the Western News that a 37 year old Penticton man was kidnapped and seriously assaulted in the early morning hours of May 21. The victim was found in a ditch by a motorist on Shingle Creek Road with a broken leg and restraints on his hands.

The suspects were identified as John Szanto, Kerry Ellis and Albert Fontaine. The trio were arrested and charged with kidnapping, unlawful confinement or imprisonment and aggravated assault. Szanto was arrested May 21, Ellis was arrested in Summerland on May 22 and Fontaine was arrested by the Abbotsford Police Emergency Response Team on July 1 in Abbotsford.

A warrant was issued on Aug. 26, with the additional charge of choking, for Carey Anderson. Anderson was arrested in Osoyoos on Aug. 28. Another male was arrested and released without charges pending further investigation, the RCMP said in a release.

RCMP Cpl. Dave Tyreman said the information on the men charged was “strategically released” nearly three weeks after the latest arrest, and nearly five months after the alleged incident, “to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

Szanto was sentenced in a different incident to three years in federal prison for robbery and kidnapping in 2010. Along with two others who were found guilty, Szanto was involved with forcing a Summerland man standing in the parking lot of the Penticton 24/7 convenience store into a vehicle then obtaining the victims debit card PIN number by threatening him and taking a total of $530 in the form of cash in his wallet, at an ATM and a gift card.

During the trial, the victim testified he was told by the trio of men that they would “set him on fire” if he did not provide his PIN number. After withdrawing $400 out of the account, the men drove the victim to the top of Carmi Road pulled him out of the car and kicked, punched and threatened him. Crown counsel said there was also talk of killing the victim because the attackers were worried he would contact RCMP. The victim eventually broke free from his kidnappers down an embankment while the trio of men threw rocks at him, one hitting him in the back. Soaked in blood, the victim eventually found safety at a nearby house where the residents called police.

Szanto was also sentenced to eight months in an incident where RCMP Drug Task Force members found marijuana in his residence.

Penticton defence lawyer Robert Maxwell was representing Szanto prior to the new charges being laid. He told the Western News because the four suspects are co-accused he is unable to represent Szanto due to a conflict of interest with former clients.

“I’m withdrawing as council due to a conflict that Mr. Szanto is aware of,” Maxwell told the court. “The Crown has joined him along with the others, everybody else on that file was a client of mine.”

Maxwell said co-accused Ellis has elected to be tried before a Provincial Court judge, however if any of the co-accused elect a Supreme Court judge, or trial by jury, the others will be required to follow suit.

Fontaine is being represented by Penticton lawyer Norman Yates and Anderson has retained Kamloops lawyer Jeremy Jensen. The four co-accused will return to court via video on Sept. 30

The Penticton RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in providing any additional unreported information about the event. Those with information can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

 

Just Posted

(Facebook)
New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

The fate of Skaha Marina and its operations will be decided Saturday, June 19 on general election day. (File photo)
Penticton city hosted last forum before voters decide on fate of Skaha Marina

Residents share concerns about length of operations agreement, parking and control of park

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read