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‘He was terrorizing me,’ says court document

— The Dalles man accused of kidnapping a 5-year-old boy from his home early Wednesday morning had tried the same tactic before, according to a court report filed by the child’s mother.

On Sept. 28, 2012, she obtained a restraining order against Brian Lester DePriest, 30, for menacing her family.

“He gets angry and has threatened to kill me and my kids and family; especially if I don’t allow him to have a relationship with the kids,” wrote the mother, now 30, in her request for court intervention. Her name and that of her son has been withheld from the story to protect their privacy. The woman stated in court documents that DePriest, who was not the father of her children, had come to her residence in May 2012 and attempted to leave with her son after

becoming angry. She said DePriest broke a window in the home during the confrontation and became irate and when told by her boyfriend to exit the premises.

Four months later, she said DePriest was waiting inside her house in the 2000 block of West Ninth Street when she returned from taking her children to the bus stop. She said he kept her “hostage” for several hours and, during that time, made numerous treats and became verbally and physically abusive.

“…he said, ‘I want to kill you, (name of current boyfriend) and the kids and anyone that gets in the way,” the woman wrote. “He kept repeating things like, ‘It’s your fault.’” I sat there and listened because I knew his anger would escalate. He was terrorizing me. I was scared to do anything…”

DePriest was the subject of another restraining order obtained by a woman in Wasco County during 2008 but that information had been archived and was not available as of press time.

He was lodged in the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities after being taken into custody about 8 a.m. Jan. 23 in Dufur. He had reportedly arrived at the woman’s home on a bicycle, which she told Judge Paul Crowley in September was his sole mode of transportation, shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday.

He then allegedly attacked the mother and the boy’s father, who was also present at the house, with a hammer before grabbing the child and stealing a nearby neighbor’s car. The vehicle was unoccupied and had been left to idle so the windows would defrost, according to Police Capt. Ed Goodman.

DePriest then reportedly drove to a relative’s home in Dufur and that individual notified police he was there. He was taken into custody without incident and questioned by Detective Sgt. Dan Nelson about his motives for the alleged kidnapping.

DePriest has been charged by Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley with several counts of assault and kidnapping and was arraigned at 1 p.m. today, a time that fell after press deadline. Nisley said the defendant faces between 10 and 25 years in prison if found guilty by a jury of the crimes for which he is being prosecuted.

Goodman said Wednesday the mother and father were transported to Mid-Columbia Medical Center for treatment of serious head injuries and then allowed to go home later in the day. They were unable to be reached for comment about the incident.

Nisley said the boy appeared to be physically unharmed and was reunited with his mother and father after talking to police about the traumatic experience.

The district attorney said, because the woman had a restraining order in place, it allowed police to act much more quickly. He said DePriest had been ordered by Crowley not to be at the home – period. Therefore, authorities could initiate an immediate call for his arrest and a statewide Amber Alert to gain citizen help in the search.

“A restraining order is not just a piece of paper, it’s a court order that allows police to respond immediately to a crisis and take the subject into custody even if he is not threatening anyone,” said Nisley.

He said restraining orders are available to both women and men who have someone in an immediate family group, or whom they have been intimately involved with in the recent past, that is threatening abuse or harm. DePriest was prevented by the order from being knowingly being within 150 feet of the woman and her family or showing up at either of the schools her children attend. He was not to contact her directly or have another party do so on his behalf.

Nisley said fewer examples of problems have to be documented to meet the judicial test for a restraining order than is required for a stalking protection order. In that case, he was even known strangers can be directed to stay away from an individual but the victim has to show unwanted contact at least three to four times because the order will be granted.

“The purpose of these orders is to not to fix the dynamics within a family, that’s really not the job of law enforcement,” said Nisley. “The purpose is to stop people from acting impulsively and give them time to think things through in the hope they will become more rational.”

According to court records, DePriest was convicted of drug-related offenses tied to methamphetamine possession in 2004 and 2008. He entered a guilty plea in both cases and was allowed to forgo jail in lieu of attending a treatment program and fulfilling other court-ordered mandates. In 2009 he was arrested for a probation violation and a warrant out of Klickitat County.

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