Joseph Beecher, 48, was arrested this week on kidnapping charges after he allegedly broke onto the grounds of a Colorado ranch owned by former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and abducted a housekeeper from the property.
Beecher allegedly drove his truck through the gate of the property Wednesday morning and entered the residence before encountering the housekeeper and, at gunpoint, asked whether Bloomberg‘s daughters were on the property, according to The Associated Press. Bloomberg has two daughters, Georgina and Emma, aged 39 and 42, respectively.
The supervising housekeeper, who was named in emergency notifications from state authorities as missing but referred to by her initials, A.E., in court documents, said that Beecher allegedly entered a room while her back was turned and, at gunpoint, asked who she was, told her she was coming with him and threatened to “shoot her f—ing face off,” according to court records.
She told police that Beecher made her drive them away from the ranch in her truck. The pair drove toward Denver, making stops at a gas station and ATM before Beecher allegedly told her to drive north to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he made her rent a motel room, court records state.
She also said that during the time they were driving, Beecher talked about Bloomberg and said he wanted to make an “international scene” with the billionaire or his daughters, the AP reported. He also allegedly said that he had gone to the airport near the Meeker, Colorado ranch looking for Bloomberg last summer.
Court records state that Beecher lived in Craig, Colorado, where he worked at a hotel in exchange for residence. Beecher and his employer/landlord allegedly had a recent argument and he was later identified as a suspect in the theft of multiple guns and ammunition from the landlord’s home, according to court records.
The records also state that the woman told police that during their drive, Beecher described a burglary he committed that had left him with a cut on his left hand.
Police tracked Beecher and the ranch employee to the motel in Wyoming after investigating the scene at the ranch, where they found his truck abandoned on the property and the woman’s cell phone.
Court records state that around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, a SWAT team entered the motel room the housekeeper had rented and found her, unharmed, along with Beecher, who was taken into custody.
Beecher faces a federal kidnapping charge, and the AP reported that he will likely face additional state charges in Colorado and Wyoming for the incident. Police have not identified a connection between Beecher or the Bloomberg family as a reason for him to have been searching for them, or for him to have broken into the ranch.
“We’re deeply grateful to the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Wyoming law enforcement, the F.B.I. and other individuals for their swift and heroic action in this case in ensuring that no lives were lost and that the victim has been rescued and safely returned to her family,” Bloomberg’s spokesperson Ty Trippet said in a statement to the AP.