Man Charged with Kidnapping Ex-Girlfriend, Leading Law Enforcement on Pursuit

Adam Joel Whiteman, 24, is charged with a felony count of kidnapping and two misdemeanor counts in Flathead County District Court after allegedly kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in Missoula and leading law enforcement on a pursuit on U.S. Highway 2

By Maggie Dresser
A Flathead County Sheriff's Office vehicle. Beacon file photo

A 24-year-old man has been charged with a felony count of kidnapping, a misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault, and a second misdemeanor count of escape in Flathead County District Court after he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend in Missoula with plans to drive to Browning before she escaped in Columbia Falls.

Adam Joel Whiteman was booked in the Flathead County Detention Center on April 21, where he remains on a $250,000 bond. His arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 7 at 9 a.m. before Judge Danni Coffman.

According to charging documents, the victim called law enforcement from a Starbucks located on U.S. Highway 2 in Columbia Falls at approximately 9 a.m. on April 21 using a witness’s phone and told authorities that Whiteman had been holding her hostage in her own vehicle. Her black Kia Sorento was heading toward Hungry Horse and he was on his way to Browning, she said.

The witness told authorities that she saw the Sorento heading northbound on MT Highway 206 approaching the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 at a high speed. As the vehicle slowed down to approximately 25 miles per hour, the witness watched the victim “bail out” of the Sorento, fall to her knees and run towards the Starbucks.

When deputies arrived, the victim said Whiteman was her ex-boyfriend and she was planning to give him a ride from her home in Missoula to Browning but he was intoxicated, and she was no longer willing to do so, records state.

The victim tried to run away from Whiteman, but he pushed her down, picked her up, took away her keys and phone and forced her into the vehicle. She tried to flee multiple times during the ride, but he kept the doors locked.

During the ride, the victim said she attempted to hit Whiteman, at which point he threatened her with a Mike’s Hard bottle.

After speaking with the victim, deputies located her unoccupied vehicle near mile marker 165.5 on U.S. Highway 2 on the south side of the road near Nyack Ranger Station Road. BNSF staff reported seeing a male that matched Whiteman’s description on nearby railroad tracks and deputies followed him.

Whiteman was found several miles east of the Sorento; however, after seeing law enforcement, he took off into the woods “some distance up the mountain” until Whiteman was detained and handcuffed. Deputies used impact munitions after he failed to cooperate with authorities and he sustained minor injuries. A deputy transported Whiteman to Logan Health for evaluation.

As the deputy was escorting Whiteman back to the patrol vehicle, he told the law enforcement officer that he was hot and asked if he could take his coat off. He was told it would be a short drive to the jail where his jacket would be removed. Whiteman stated, “jail?” before he took off running and broke through the fence into the Buffalo Hill Golf Course where witnesses watched him run toward Lawrence Park, according to documents.

Whiteman was apprehended again and transported to the Flathead County Detention Center.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, the Abbie Shelter operates a crisis helpline Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at (406) 752-7273. Additional information can be found at www.abbieshelter.org.