UAF athlete charged with kidnapping

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A University of Alaska Fairbanks basketball player has been arrested on charges he kidnapped a former girlfriend at knifepoint Wednesday night.

Cameron Watts, 18, a freshman, has been charged with hiding in the trunk of the woman's car and twice forcing her to accompany him to a secluded spot.

The second time, authorities say, he made threats against her life and his own. The victim, also 18 and a fellow freshman at UAF, was not injured in the incidents.

Watts was arraigned Thursday on charges of kidnapping, two counts of assault and violating a protective court order. He was being held in Fairbanks Correctional Center on $100,000 bail.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim is an ex-girlfriend of Watts. She had obtained a domestic violence protective order against him earlier this month that barred him from contacting her.

But on Wednesday night, police say, Watts got into the woman's car, parked on campus, and hid in the trunk. When she got in, he grabbed her from behind, put a knife to her throat and forced her to drive to a secluded spot, the complaint says.

Watts then put away the knife, promised not to hurt the woman and began to talk about their relationship, the complaint says.

He then told her to drive back to UAF, made her give him her keys and got her to enter his own car, according to police. They said he drove them back to the same spot, took out the knife again and made threats to both her and himself if she would not resume their relationship.

Eventually, she told officers, she persuaded Watts to throw the knife out the window, drive her back to campus and let her go.

The woman then called police.

Police say Watts admitted breaking into the car, hiding in it and speaking to her for several hours at the secluded location. He denied making threats with the knife, police said, but a knife was found at the spot the woman specified.

Watts, a backup point guard, is attending UAF on a full basketball scholarship and majoring in criminal justice. He was a standout guard at Lathrop High School and served as a team captain.

University spokesman Debra Damron said Watts is off the team for at least the time being. The university has barred Watts from campus.

Damron said that the university's investigation will determine the ultimate course of action.

''There are a range of disciplinary actions that could happen, up to and including expulsion,'' Damron said. ''It certainly is a charge that we will take very seriously.''

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