LAYTON — A Kaysville man accused of kidnapping and attempting to rob another man under the guise of selling a cellphone, eventually leading to a SWAT standoff, has been ordered to stand trial.
Mitchell Whitter Tarbox, 29, of Kaysville, is charged in 2nd District Court with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, in addition to theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.
Tarbox waived his preliminary hearing last week and is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 5.
Hayden Romelo Woods, 20, of Clearfield, is also charged in the case. He faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and possession of a weapon by a restricted person.
On Jan. 9. police say Tarbox arranged to sell a cellphone to a 19-year-old man in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. But once the victim got into the back seat of Tarbox's vehicle, "Tarbox locked all of the doors and would not unlock the doors to let the victim out of the vehicle. Hayden Woods then told the victim that he was being 'kidnapped' and that he had to give his captors everything that he had on him," according to charging documents.
As the car began to back out of the parking stall, Woods "grabbed a black handgun from the floor by his feet and racked a round into the chamber. Hayden then pointed the gun directly at (the man's) head," according to a search warrant affidavit.
As the victim desperately tried to get the attention of his wife, who was sitting in a car nearby waiting for him, he "hit the driver’s side rear window with his fist, breaking it. He climbed out of the window as the vehicle was backing up and ran to his car," the warrant states.
Woods and Tarbox fled to the nearby Stonehedge Apartments. Tarbox surrendered shortly after police arrived. But Woods barricaded himself in an apartment as a SWAT team surrounded the complex. "The SWAT team then entered the apartment (hours later) and found Woods hiding underneath a blanket inside one of the bedrooms," the charges state.
Woods' girlfriend, Dezire Garcia-Bartz, who was also at the apartment, repeatedly told police that Woods wasn't there, according to investigators. She was also arrested at the scene and later charged with obstruction of justice and aggravated robbery for knowing what Woods and Tarbox intended to do, court records state.Comment on this story
Tarbox told authorities that he supplied the gun, which he stole from his brother-in-law at the request of Woods, according to the warrant.
"Mitchell said that he had been threatened by Hayden that his family would be harmed if he didn’t help him. This information was later in question as others indicated that Mitchell had freely been 'hanging around' Hayden for several months. The 'threats' made toward the family of Mitchell did not rise to a criminal level nor was their safety ever in jeopardy," the officer wrote in one of the warrants.