Man pleads not guilty to kidnapping attempt at Safeway

He allegedly tried to rob, abduct woman in her car in parking lot

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: July 25, 2013, 3:59 PM

 

An Arizona man pleaded not guilty Thursday to trying to kidnap and rob a woman July 10 as she was sitting in her vehicle in the parking lot of a Vancouver Heights Safeway store.

The real name of the suspect originally identified as Timothy W. Parker is Joshua Westcott, said attorney Brandy Jeffers, who represented Westcott on Thursday on behalf of her colleague, court-appointed attorney, Todd Pascoe.

Westcott, 37, is charged with second-degree assault, felony harassment, second-degree attempted kidnapping and first-degree attempted robbery. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 9.

The victim, Vicki M. Wells, 57, had just finished her shift in the grocery store’s deli and gone to her vehicle when the incident occurred.

Westcott allegedly approached Wells as she sat in her vehicle and asked her from some change. When Wells said she didn’t have any change, Westcott called her a derogatory name, Wells said.

He attacked her and overpowered her by placing her in a chokehold, she said.

“ ‘Come on, let’s go,’” he allegedly said. “ ‘I’ll kill ya, I’ll kill ya.’”

“It was just that fast,” Wells said Thursday.

Then he started to push her into the passenger seat of her vehicle, she said. She told police she thought Westcott was trying to kidnap her inside her vehicle. She was afraid he might kill her and fought back.

Customer Emily Kountz interrupted the alleged kidnapping just after 1:30 p.m. as she drove into the parking lot and saw what was happening, Wells said. Kountz called 911, and Westcott fled. Police apprehended Westcott later that day, around 6:24 p.m., when he returned to the area.

Court documents indicate Parker is from Phoenix. He had been in Clark County for only four days and said he was just passing through the area at the time of the incident.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com