CLEARFIELD – Two men accused of abducting a Houtzdale man had a joint preliminary hearings on Wednesday.
Randall Bolton, 41 of Clearfield and Richard Rauch, 47 of Hyde, were arraigned on Jan. 23 on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and related charges. All charges were held to court.
It is alleged that the men went to the Houtzdale man’s apartment and led him out by gunpoint, then assaulted him along Crooked Sewer Road.
A woman at the man’s residence at the time of the abduction testified that around 8 p.m. on Jan. 22 she and the man heard a knock on his door. He told them to come in, and the woman said that is when Bolton and Rauch entered the apartment. She stated that Bolton grabbed the man from the floor and led him to the bedroom. She said that Rauch watched over her with a gun drawn, though it was not pointed at her.
She said that she overheard them talking about money the man apparently owed to Bolton. She said that one of the men told her that if she called the police, they would shoot her.
“I was scared to death,” said the woman. “I thought we were going to die that night.
The 28-year-old Houtzdale man testified that when Rauch and Bolton entered his apartment, he did a double take, as he had not seen either man in around year. He testified that Bolton pulled him up from the floor from his face and made him get dressed because they were going for a ride. The man also testified that Bolton told him “You’re going to your grave,son.”
The man said that there was a discussion over $190 over a failed drug buy. The man said that he took the money but never came through on his end to provide the drugs to Bolton. Ron Collins, defense attorney for Bolton, questioned whether or not the money, as well as a gold necklace, had been removed from the Bolton residence by the man. The man stated that was not the case, it was over drugs.
He said he believed he was led out of the apartment by gunpoint by Rauch. Once outside, they got into Bolton’s truck and began to drive. The man said he tried multiple times to try to come to some sort of deal with Bolton, but to no avail. The man said at one point the gun was put to his head by Rauch after he touched the headrest of the seat Bolton was sitting in.
They pulled over twice along the road, but it was not until the second stop that the men exited the vehicle. The Houtzdale man said that a shot was fired from the gun into the air at this point. He also testified that Rauch punched him, and that’s when both began began assaulting him, kicking and punching him while he was on the ground.
He said he got back up and began trying to deal with Bolton again. The man said he believed that Bolton was willing to deal, but that Rauch struck him on the nose again, knocking him to the ground yet again. The men began to pummel him again. Sometime during this beating, the man testified that a shot from the gun was fired toward his head. He said his right ear was ringing and he could see a muzzle flash.
The Houtzdale man said at this point Bolton retrieved what he described as a ball and chain. He stated that Bolton began to beat him with that weapon, striking him multiple times. He testified that the two men left him to talk at the truck. He said that he got up and began running into the woods, and another shot was fired from the handgun, though he was unsure who fired it or whether it was fired at him or not.
After getting a ride from someone along the road, the man said that he was met at a relative’s home by State Trooper Svin Donaldson. The man related that he had three fractured ribs and had to get staples in the back of his head. He said that he was not going to go to police but had been subpoenaed.
Donaldson took the stand and related that he questioned Rauch, and that Rauch said they started at the R-Bar in Hyde, went to Sid’s Six Pack, then to the Alleypopper before going to get the Houtzdale man. At one point Rauch told the trooper that they stopped by his place to pick up the gun.
“They wanted to put the fear of God into him,” said Donaldson.
Rauch allegedly told the officer that he fired the gun once into the air. He told the trooper that Bolton fired the gun twice, but never near the man’s head. Donaldson also said that Rauch told him he kicked the man a few times as well.
He also said that Rauch was cooperative throughout the questioning. He said that Bolton did not want to make statements without an attorney present, though Bolton did utter that they had the man in the truck.
After bail reduction arguments, both men had their bail reduced to $100,000 straight bail, and are both in Clearfield County Jail.