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Dad paid ransom after man was kidnapped from RTD Park-n-Ride

A witness reported that several men assaulted the victim with their hands and possibly a pipe over a debt, an arrest affidavit says.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A phone call made by a kidnapped man to his father was key in helping track down the men now accused of beating the man with a pipe and holding him for ransom over an unpaid debt last month, an arrest affidavit from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) says.

Brandon Graterol-Castro, 22, was arrested in Illinois and faces charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery and motor vehicle theft, according to court records. Deivis Jose Chavez Pinto, 30, was arrested in Douglas County. He faces charges of kidnapping and assault, according to court records.

The father of the 25-year-old victim walked into a sheriff's office substation around around 10:30 a.m. on April 28 and reported that his son had been kidnapped. He reported that a friend of his son was present at the time of the kidnapping but said he had never met that friend and did not know him.

Investigators were able to locate that friend who reported that he and the victim drove to the RTD Park-N-Ride at 8392 Burnley Court where four men exited a blue van and attacked the victim.

The friend reported that the men attacked the victim with a pipe and their hands, the affidavit says. He said he tried to intervene but one of the men threatened him with a knife and he ran.

According to the witness, the men forced the victim into the blue van and left in it and the victim's car, a 2010 Chevy Aveo.

He later told detectives that he heard one of the suspects say, "let's take this [expletive] and kill him" the affidavit says. He said he was "scared" and didn't know what to do, but eventually told a friend what happened. The friend told the victim's father.

Sometime after the kidnapping, the victim called his father from a number his father did not recognize, the affidavit says. He told his father that he had been arrested, but his father could not locate him and investigators could not find any records of his arrest.

Around 2:45 p.m. the victim's father also received a message on WhatsApp from his son asking him to make a Zelle payment of $1,500 to "save his life." In a second message the victim sent a "selfie" where he looked "messed up," the affidavit says. His father said it appeared his son's nose was possibly broken and there was some other bruising.

The father and suspects negotiated a release, according to the affidavit, and just before 6 p.m., the father completed a Zelle transaction for $700 and told the suspects, "I held up my end, please release my son."

A short time later, the victim's father got a message from the victim's WhatsApp that indicated he would be released at a 7, which was assumed to be a 7-Eleven store, according to the affidavit.  

Phone records indicated that the cellphone number used to call the victim's father was associated with a person named Davis Chavez. Investigators pinged the number and found it was located in the area of a 7-Eleven store near East Colfax Avenue and Chambers Road in Aurora and members of a task force responded there. One member took photos of two men walking away from the store and one of them matched a description of a suspect provided by the witness.

That person, identified as Chavez Pinto, was detained. He had a cellphone in his possession and when investigators called the number the victim's dad received a call from, the phone with Chavez Pinto rang, the affidavit says.

Deivis Chavez Pinto told investigators he had let the victim borrow $450 and had been trying to collect the money for about a week without success. He admitted to seeing the victim recently but denied any type of altercation.

Detectives, however, noticed visible swelling and scrapes on Chavez Pinto's hands. When asked about them, he said the marks were from working on cars.

Just before 11 p.m. on April 28, DCSO learned that the victim's car had been located in Illinois. A traffic stop was conducted there and the driver, Graterol-Castro was detained. He explained, according to the affidavit, that he had recently purchased the car from the victim and was driving from Colorado to New York but had stopped to visit some friends.

Detectives are still looking for the white or blue minivan involved in the kidnapping. Anyone with information can contact Sgt. Amanda Falkner at 303-784-7861.

Chavez Pinto is next due in court on May 12. There are no court dates set for Graterol-Castro yet since he was arrested in another state.

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