Vernal man charged with kidnapping, assault
A Vernal man is charged with kidnapping his girlfriend and her daughter, threatening them both with a gun and shooting the woman in her legs.
Brandon Martin Castillo, 27, was charged in 8th District Court on Wednesday with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony.
Investigators suspect that during an argument at his house on Nov. 20, the man pulled out a handgun and told his girlfriend they needed to go for a ride.
"It sounds like ... he was a little jealous of her talking to guys," said Uintah County Deputy Attorney Dan Bokovoy.
She and her 3-year-old daughter got in his vehicle, and he drove them down a dirt road south of Vernal, hitting the woman in the head multiple times along the way, before stopping and telling her to get out the vehicle and kneel on the ground, according to the charges.
When she refused, Bokovoy said the man shot her in the leg with a dummy bullet. She retreated behind the vehicle, but the man forced her to the ground, kicked her and shot her in her other leg, the charges state.
He again told her to kneel while he retrieved her child from the vehicle, put the girl down near the woman and then grabbed the woman's hair to force her to look at the child, according to the charges.
"[He] then pointed the handgun at the child and asked the woman, 'is she worth it?'" the charges state.
Investigators suspect he then drove them back to his house, where the woman got into her own vehicle and left.
Besides the wounds on her face and legs, investigators found items at the scene that corroborated the woman's story, including plastic projectiles that had been fired from a handgun. Officers arrested the man the next day and booked him into Uintah County Jail.