Penn Yan man charged with violent kidnapping

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
Paul "Zack" West

Penn Yan Police arrested Paul "Zack" West, 28, of 205 1/2 East Elm St., Penn Yan, after he was accused of going to a female relative's house in Penn Yan at 1 p.m. April 25, demanding to be driven to Greece, N.Y. to buy drugs. When she refused, he became angry and allegedly punched her in the head and ribs. Police say when the victim attempted to call 911, West allegedly ripped the phone from the wall.

West then allegedly held a knife to the victim's throat and threatened to kill her if she did not get him a ride. Fearing for her life, the victim was forced to borrow a vehicle and drive West to the Rochester area suburb. She reported to police that after West bought the heroin, he insisted she use it as well and injected her against her will. The victim suffered a physical reaction, lost consciousness, and was abandoned in a parking lot in Greece. After she was discovered, an ambulance crew took her to Unity Hospital in Greece. She has been released from the hospital according to Hulse.

After the victim's statement, Penn Yan Police located West at his residence and took him into custody. He has been charged with 2nd degree kidnapping (class B felony), 1st degree reckless endangerment (class D felony), 1st degree unlawful imprisonment (class E felony), 2nd degree menacing, 3rd degree assault, and 4th degree criminal mischief (class A misdemeanors). He was arraigned in Milo Town Court, and remanded to the Yates County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail or $40,000 bond.

Penn Yan Police Chief Mark Hulse does not believe West is a long time resident of Penn Yan. He says West has a criminal history in the area over the last couple of years, but his priors are nothing as serious as the crimes he is now charged with.

Hulse says that other charges may be pending in Greece and in Ontario County because West forced the victim to stop at the Home Depot in Victor where they stole items. West then allegedly returned those items to a Home Depot in Greece for cash.

Hulse adds that a third party is involved in the crimes, but that charges have not yet been determined for this person.