RS man faces kidnapping charges

Daniel Hoopes

SWEETWATER COUNTY — A Rock Springs man remains incarcerated on two counts of alleged kidnapping while waiting to appear at a preliminary hearing Wednesday. He is accused of forcibly keeping a woman and a little girl in his pickup and telling them “no one will ever see you guys again.”

Daniel Hoopes, 35, of Rock Springs, is being held at the Sweetwater County Detention Center on $100,000 bond, cash or surety. The maximum penalty for kidnapping, confinement, is up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count.

Around 6:50 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, Rock Springs Police Officer Amanda Buller was dispatched to a 911 call with a “distraught” woman who was heard saying, “I want to go home.” She did not answer questions, but dispatch gathered that a man was upset about the caller texting another man. Dispatch said the exchange was escalating as the man told the woman to shut her mouth as he became “very aggressive” with her, according to court documents.

The dispatcher narrowed down the caller’s location by pinging her phone, which was connected to a previous trespassing call. Hoopes had been arrested for allegedly violating a trespass order on Jan. 17, 2019, when attempting to break into the caller’s home and caused a disturbance, according to court documents.

Cpl. Brenda Baker and Officer Cody Morgan located and stopped Hoopes’ pickup and made contact with Hoopes, the caller, and a crying child. Morgan told Hoopes to get out of the vehicle because a firearm was within his reach. RSPD Officer Andrew Schiess and Buller observed the woman was “crying heavily, sobbing, trying to catch her breath, and appearing to be hyperventilating and shaking.”

The woman told investigators that Hoopes was driving the two to a nail salon, when the woman received a text message. She said Hoopes thought she was texting with another man, at which point he became enraged and said he would take her to Lyman instead of taking her home. When she told Hoopes she needed to get home to her 10-year-old son, he allegedly said she would never see her son again.

The woman said she was afraid and believed Hoopes, which is why she called 911 while hiding the phone under her leg. The little girl also said she was frightened.

Officer Buller interviewed Hoopes, who said he noticed the woman was texting another guy, and he became upset. He allegedly admitted he told them he was going to Lyman, but added he did not intend to take them there. He told officers she asked to get out of the vehicle and he refused, but he denied telling her she’d never see her son again.

Hoopes was set to appear before Circuit Court Judge John Prokos at a preliminary hearing at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, but it was rescheduled.

Wednesday's hearing was postponed because Hoopes' attorney had a previously scheduled court appearance at the same time as his client's hearing, according to the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial District. It has been rescheduled for 3 p.m. on March 6.

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