Possible kidnapping halted


Key


A Mount Airy man who allegedly doused a woman with lighter fluid, flicked lit cigarettes at her and bound her feet with duct tape is being held at the Surry County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond.

Michael James Key, 43, was arrested on July 8 and charged with second degree kidnapping, assault on a female, assault with a deadly weapon and habitual misdemeanor assault, according to a statement released by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday.

The Mount Airy Police were alerted on July 5 when several witnesses observed Key allegedly assault a female victim in a parking lot near the intersection of U.S. Highway 52 and U.S. Highway 601. Key allegedly tried to force the victim into a vehicle. Witnesses intervened and the woman escaped.

When officers interviewed the victim, she revealed that Key had been holding her against her will since the day before.

The suspect allegedly forced the victim from his vehicle near a bridge on Haystack Road and, accusing her of being unfaithful, doused her with lighter fluid and began flicking lit cigarettes at her.

After giving her a change of clothes and water to wash with, he allegedly taped her feet together and forced her back into the vehicle. Sheriff Graham Atkinson said the victim had marks on her ankles from the duct tape at the time of the interview.

The victim told officers Key had assaulted her several times since July 2 but had not reported them.

“It’s really important that people report these assaults so we can stop it before it gets to this extreme,” Atkinson said.

It was unclear why the sheriff’s office waited a week after the arrest before releasing the information.

Key is scheduled for court on Aug. 11.

Key
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