MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A New Richmond, Wisconsin man faces multiple criminal charges after allegedly kidnapping his former girlfriend and forcing her to drive for several hours with a rope around her neck.
Baldwin police say 50-year-old Daniel O’Keefe snuck into his ex-girlfriend’s car Wednesday night in the parking lot of Notato Contour in Menomonie, where they both work.
The woman left work and drove for several miles until O’Keefe allegedly popped up from the backseat. The woman hit the brakes, but the suspect told her to keep driving.
The victim says the man — who she did not initially recognize — put a rope around her neck as she drove, and he had a handgun in his possession. She says she was forced to drive on back roads for about two-and-a-half hours, and eventually recognized her kidnapper’s voice was O’Keefe’s.
She convinced him to stop at a Menomonie Kwik Trip gas station to get food and to use the bathroom. The two went together into the store, where she noticed two Menomonie police officers inside and asked for their help.
Baldwin Police were called to the scene to assist, and they searched O’Keefe’s duffle bag — finding two handguns and an oil-filter silencer.
O’Keefe later confessed his plan to kidnap the victim in order to talk to her. He was taken to the St. Croix County Jail, where he awaits several charges, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, attempted strangulation and suffocation, possession of a firearm silence, disorderly conduct and domestic abuse.