Man, 24, faces felony charges in kidnap, assault

A 24-year-old man accused of attacking and holding captive overnight a 63-year-old woman who had taken him in when he was homeless faces felony charges and remains in custody on a high cash bond.

Christopher Ryan Morales, who was arrested after the woman managed to escape last week and contacted police, faces felony charges including kidnapping and assault.

The woman, who told police she thinks of Morales as a grandson, said she bought him five drinks the night before at Stix Bar and Grill, 509 28 ½ Road, according to an arrest affidavit. The bartender eventually refused to serve him any more, and the woman left when Morales “began to get angry” with her.

When Morales arrived back at the home in the 2800 block of Elm Avenue, the woman, who hadn’t been drinking,  agreed to drive him to buy cigarettes. While in the car, she said Morales held a small kitchen knife to her throat, which drew blood when she grabbed it with her hand, the affidavit said. The woman’s phone was dead when she came back into the house; she said she tried to charge it and was planning to escape through a bedroom window before Morales returned.

“Christopher told her he wanted her cellphone, shoes and eyeglasses so she could not see,” a Grand Junction police officer wrote in the affidavit.

After stepping on the woman’s glasses, Morales allegedly threatened her with a hammer and used it to push against her throat, the report said.

The woman tried to run away, but she said Morales caught her, threw her to the ground and ordered her back into her room, the report said. She said he later returned her broken glasses and cellphone.

“(The woman) stated she was injured, exhausted and fell asleep,” the officer wrote in the report.

The next morning, the woman drove away and called police. When officers responded to her address after documenting her injuries, Morales said things got “out of control” the night before, but never got physical.

He said the woman was injured when she “became hysterical ripping her necklace off and scratching her face and arms.”

Morales appeared in court Monday, along with the victim, who told Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson she cared about Morales.

“I just would like him to get some help, some mental health help,” she said. “I don’t know if he can get that in the jail.”

“Probably not,” Henderson said.

Henderson ordered Morales be held in lieu of a $10,000 cash-only bond. Morales is set to return to court Jan. 17.


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