What started with the reported abduction and release of a Payson man Monday evening ended with the stabbing of one suspect and the arrest of another in San Diego Wednesday.
Police are still sorting out the details, but the story they have been able to confirm is that 19-year-old Greg Freye of Payson was kidnapped by two men after he got off work from Payson's Wal-Mart Monday night. Freye was left stranded and naked in Gisela sometime after midnight.
"These two guys were just hanging around Wal-Mart and I was working the outside cash register that day," Freye said Thursday morning. "I had been talking to them on and off all day. At closing time, I went inside to finish closing the store, and when I came back out, they were still there."
Freye said the two men said they had been waiting around for a ride that apparently wasn't going to show, so he offered to drive them to where they needed to go. That act of generosity led him and his two passengers to Upper Round Valley.
Not finding what they were looking for, the two told Freye they had apparently been given wrong directions, so he asked if he could drive them to a campground.
When Freye got to the Houston Mesa Campground to let the two men out, he said they pulled guns on him and ordered him into the back seat of the sedan.
"At this point, I was just hoping to stay alive," Freye said. "We drove all the way back through Payson, telling jokes the whole way. I had them laughing. It was really strange because it was so relaxed all the way down to Gisela."
Victim forced to take off clothes
In the tiny community south of Payson, the two men again appeared as if they were lost, Freye said, and when they couldn't find their destination, they drove to the side of a hill, ordered Freye out of the car and made him take off his clothes.
"They told me they were going to tie me up, but they couldn't find any rope," he said. "I figured they were going to shoot me right there, so I ran to the left, got low and hid in the bushes." Freye said he stayed hidden as he watched the two men look for him, then watched them jump into his 1990 Pontiac Sunbird and drive away.
Making his way back into Gisela, Freye said several vehicles passed, but no one stopped to offer assistance.
"I was finally picked up by a sheriff's deputy," he said. "I guess when the sheriff's department gets enough calls about a naked guy walking around in Gisela, they had to do something. I figured I'd have to make it to the Rye bar before this looks unusual."
Once the crime was reported to authorities, Payson Police took over the case, since the crime originated within town limits.
Det. Steve Johnson said the two suspects made it to San Diego with Freye's car. There, they allegedly attempted to rob an elderly man who was walking along a sidewalk.
"It just so happens this older black man is a dispatcher for the Border Patrol and carries a knife in his boot," Johnson said.
As the two suspects tried to rob the man Wednesday night on Beyer Boulevard in the community of San Ysidro, the victim pulled a knife and defended himself, stabbing one of the men, the detective said.
As the other suspect, 22-year-old Randy Scott Blaney of Payson, fired shots at the victim, the victim grabbed the gun from the wounded suspect and fired back. Blaney and the other suspect finally made their escape, but the victim was able to make it to his office and call police.
Within a few minutes, San Diego police received a call for help not far from the scene, and upon arrival, found Blaney and his critically wounded partner.
The wounded man was taken to a nearby hospital, according to Glenn Breitenstein, lieutenant in charge of homicide investigations for the San Diego Police Department.
"He's on life support, but he's not expected to live," he said. "We can't release his name until his family has been notified."
Blaney was booked into San Diego County Jail on charges of robbery and attempted murder.
In light of these latest events, Freye is just counting himself lucky to be alive, and wondering when he'll see his car again.
"I know that a guy bled in it," he said. "I thought that was kind of discourteous."