Disabled man's kidnapping sparks outrage
GRESHAM, Ore. -- The case of a developmentally disabled man whom police say was kidnapped and held against his will is drawing outrage from disability advocates.
"Disgust," said Steve Ristow, when asked about his first reaction to hearing about the story.
Ristow is executive director of Quiet Waters Outreach, a Tigard facility that specializes in helping the developmentally disabled and their families.
"It's heartbreaking to me that anyone would take advantage of this special and vulnerable population," he said.
Gresham Police have arrested three people in the case. Christopher Tonlentino, Whitney Engstrom, and Ashley Adams all face charges that include robbery and kidnapping.
Police say the trio, and possibly others, held 34-year-old Michael Daugherty against his will in a Gresham apartment for two days. The suspects are accused of draining Daugherty's bank account while he was being held captive. Police say that even though Daugherty is developmentally disabled, there's no confusion as to how he ended up in the apartment.
"He clearly did not want to be there," said Detective John Rasmussen of Gresham Police. "He was clearly taken advantage of and not allowed to leave."
Police rescued Daugherty after receiving a tip that someone was being held against their will at the apartment complex. The case is a good reminder that certain populations, including the elderly and disabled, are often targeted as crime victims.
"It's almost in a way like a predatory sense people have," said Rasmussen. "They can say this person is not quite up to speed or they're not knowledgeable about certain things, therefore maybe I can exploit them."
"They're quick to trust other people," added Ristow. "That makes them extremely vulnerable. They're quick to befriend others and they just trust that that will be reciprocated.
Police say Daugherty is helping them with their investigation. They haven't described his disability but say he can communicate and move around easily. KATU News has been unable to reach Daugherty's family for comment.
From left to right: Christopher Tonlentino, Whitney Engstrom and Ashley Adams.