Shoreline

Bail set at $300,000 for accused Lake Forest Park kidnappers

Bail set at $300,000 for accused Lake Forest Park kidnappers
LAKE FOREST PARK, Wash. -- A local veteran claims a medical emergency triggered a bizarre kidnapping that involved being locked up with an explosive at the door.

Two men were arrested in the case and had their first court appearance on Monday.

On Sunday morning, police say the victim called for help from Lake Forest Park and told them he had just escaped through a window because his captors used a bomb to booby trap the front door.

Stephen Klepper and Taraille Chesney were arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment.

The victim said he was driving to his Blaine home after visiting a VA hospital in Seattle on Sunday when he pulled off the road and suffered and epileptic seizure.


Stephen Klepper (left) and Chesney Taraille (right)
That's when Klepper and Chesney kidnapped and held the man in a Lake Forest house for more than 24 hours, according to police. When officers arrived at the home on Sunday, they found a "dummy bomb," which police have since safely destroyed.

"He let the officers know that there was a possible bomb inside the residence. He was told to stay inside, otherwise it would go off he went out the door. So he climbed out the window," said Lake Forest Park Police Chief Steve Sutton.

By the time he escaped, the victim's car and other personal items had been stolen. Seattle police helped find the car after putting it through a stolen-car database. When the car turned up, officers found Klepper and Chesney inside it, according to police.

Given the fact that the men have more than 60 prior arrests between them, a judge set bail at $300,000.

Police say the victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation.