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Local pro fighters rescue kidnapping victim

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Mar 18 2014 09:28:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 18 2014 09:49:58 PM CDT

Several fighters restrain suspect until police arrive.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Colorado Springs police said a kidnapping suspect was in the wrong place at the wrong time Monday night when he tried to pursue his victim into a gym full of boxers and mixed martial artists.

Police said the unidentified female victim escaped from Antwon Yates, 29, outside the Altitude MMA gym near the intersection of Platte Avenue and Arrawanna Street.

"I think she knew someone here," said Zach Black, co-director of the gym.  "She came in and hid out in one of our rest rooms, and then called police."

Ronnie Reams, a professional boxer with six fights under his belt, said there were about 100 people in the gym when Yates erntered and motioned for reams to come outside.

"When he was talking to me, it was like he was stuttering," said Reams.  "He was upset about something."

Police said Yates forced the victim into his vehicle and assaulted her outside the Loaf & Jug near Academy Boulevard and Chelton Road.  The victim is Yates' ex-girlfriend and the mother of his children, police said, and that the two may have argued about their children.

Reams said Yates swung at him several times but missed.

"It happened fast," Reams said.  "I have a fight Friday so I was not trying to hit him at all.  I grabbed him and pushed him against the window.  That's when we went down to the ground."

Black said while most of the gym attendees moved to the back of the building for safety, several fighters went outside and restrained Yates until police arrived.

"I walked away with a high degree of confidence about how we handled the situation.," Black said.

Police expressed mixed feelings about the situation.

"What the community did here to help, we're very appreciative of it," said Sgt. Steve Noblitt.  "But the things that we always encourage people to take into consideration, is the risk associated with that -- because you don't know if (a suspect has) a gun."

Police said Yates apparently did not have a weapon.

The victim was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.  Yates faces charges of kidnapping and domestic violence.

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