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Phoenix kidnapping victim chews through phone cord to escape

Posted at 1:01 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 16:04:07-04

A kidnapping victim chewed through a telephone cord to escape captivity recently, according to police records.

Phoenix police report that on August 23 a man, later identified as 54-year-old Michael Darrell Thorning went to a motel room near 51st Avenue and McDowell Road. He went to a room where the victim had allowed him to spend the night a few days prior due to the excessive heat.

After using the phone, Thorning allegedly pulled a box cutter out and threatened the victim. They fought over the box cutter, but soon Thorning had the victim tied to a chair with a phone cord and blindfolded him. Thorning reportedly stole the victim's cash, debit card, and PIN.

Thorning then withdrew $800 in cash from nearby ATMs, police say.

According to court records, the victim "was able to free himself by chewing through a cord." He then went to the motel front desk for help.

Police distributed pictures of Thorning taken from the ATM cameras to nearby businesses. A few days later police got a tip from a motel manager in the area, that Thorning was in their parking lot. Upon his arrest, Thorning allegedly admitted to tying up the victim, stealing his debit card and withdrawing money.

He has been charged with kidnapping and robbery.