Man denies trapping a neighbor in his room

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Mount Vernon -- An Anacortes man reportedly told a neighbor that if he couldn't keep him from living in his rooming house, he could at least keep him from leaving it.

Terry Dale Jones, 45, pleaded not guilty in Skagit County Superior Court on Friday to unlawful imprisonment stemming from an allegation that he trapped a man in his room in May.

Anacortes police responded to a rooming house May 15 after a man, 57, reported being trapped in his apartment.

Officers discovered his second-floor room was barricaded with a large dresser piled with boxes, according to the affidavit. Behind the dresser, officers found plywood nailed to the outer door frame. The trapped man could only stick his hand through a small gap near the top of the door.

Officers failed to pull the plywood free, so gave the man inside a sledgehammer to bust out the board, documents indicate.

The man told police he awoke that morning to the sound of hammering. He opened his door to find Jones nailing the plywood sheet to his door frame, according to reports.

He said Jones told him "if he could not keep him from living there, he could at least prevent him from coming and going," the affidavit says.

The two men had disagreed about the rent, the reported victim told police.