4 arrested in Mountain Home, Ark., in kidnapping case; police say one wore clown mask

Mountain Home Police say the man in the clown mask is James Seawell.
Mountain Home Police say the man in the clown mask is James Seawell.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - Four Baxter County residents are in the Baxter County Detention Center accused of kidnapping someone they believed stole cellphones at a hotel.

Forty-four-year-old Jennifer Drzka, 20-year-old Jonathan Farrar and 54-year-old James Seawell of Mountain Home, and 33-year-old Sommer Taylor of Midway are facing felony counts of kidnapping and aggravated assault.

“It initially started a call as a potentially stolen bike at the Executive Inn,” said Lt. Michael Day. “Officer Holly Steel quickly checked the security video, which shows this incident.”

In the video, a suspect can be seen wearing a clown mask. Police say that individual is James Seawell.

“When you watch the video, you are seeing a violent, violent act,” said Lt. Day. “The victim was not going willingly. He appeared to be struggling, trying to get away. Then he was placed in the back of the vehicle.”

Mountain Home Police say an officer spotted the suspected vehicle at a local gas station in town within hours of the initial call.

“Pulled in, called for back up, and ironically when she showed up, as they were getting out of the vehicle, that guy was still wearing the clown mask,” said Lt. Day. “So she was excited that we got the suspects here, but even better, the victim was in the vehicle as well.”

Police say three of the suspects can be seen in the surveillance video. The fourth, Drzka, police say, was working at the hotel at the time of the incident. According to the police report, Drzka had asked the other three to help retrieve items she claimed the victim had stolen.

“Very capable that I might have when I was in that room I seen some stuff that he didn’t have before,” said Lukas Kidd, who says he knows the victim personally. “Then he pulled up a whole stack of cash so he might have.”

Police say the victim has not been charged with anything to this point. Meanwhile, other residents of the Executive Inn say they have seen the victim since the incident.

“Yesterday, he had a black eye when I saw him, he had a busted lip, he looked very out of it,” said Aly Jones, a hotel resident. “He had bruises all over him, he did not look good, he did not sound good. I mean, that does hit home for me because I do live here, in Mountain Home.”

According to the Baxter County Detention Center inmate roster, each of the four suspects has a personal bond set at $250,000.

“All in all, a lot of us in the department believe if Holly hadn’t been observant, this kid could have possibly been dead,” said Lt. Day.

A kidnapping charge is a Class Y felony, the most serious classification of crime in Arkansas not punishable by the death penalty.

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