By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 20-year-old Mankato man who is accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, taking her to his home on Belle Avenue and assaulting her.
Police became aware of the incident when a man called 911 at about 9:15 p.m. Nov. 23 to report another man was driving erratically on Riverfront Drive. It appeared the man was swerving because he was punching a female passenger, the caller reported.
The caller followed the vehicle to Brandon James Westphal’s residence at 405 Belle Ave. and waited for officers to arrive, according to a criminal complaint filed in Blue Earth County District Court. When officers arrived, the found a woman who could barely speak because she was upset and sobbing. She was able to tell an officer that Westphal had attempted to drag her into the basement of his house.
After the victim was taken to the Public Safety Center to be interviewed, she was able to tell officers that Westphal was her ex-boyfriend and they had been at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting earlier that night. She said she was talking to another man outside after the meeting when Westphal walked up with a crowbar and threatened the other man. A fight started and the victim told Westphal she would talk to him in his vehicle if he would leave the other man alone, the complaint said.
After an argument, she told Westphal she wanted to go home. She attempted to get out of the vehicle after he passed her residence, but he refused to let her out and threatened to punch her, the complaint said. The woman attempted to lock the car doors when Westphal arrived at his house and got out of the vehicle, but he unlocked the door with a key and dragged her outside, the victim reported.
She said Westphal brought her into a bedroom and restrained her on a bed even though she was punching him in the chest in an attempt to get away. He allegedly told the victim she was staying the night and was attempting to drag her into the basement, assaulting her repeatedly as she tried to escape, when police officers arrived.
“Westphal then begged her not to tell the police what happened,” the complaint said.
One officer was talking to Westphal when a second officer arrived, according to the complaint. It does not explain why a nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest. A Blue Earth County jail administrator said Westphal, who has a criminal history, has not been in the jail since October. So it isn’t clear if he escaped from custody, was allowed to leave or was taken to another county first to deal with other criminal matters.
A Mankato police commander could not be reached for comment Thursday.