Photo: Washington County Jail
Photo: Washington County Jail
June 10, 2019 03:42 PM
The man authorities say abducted his two daughters and assaulted their mother Friday morning in Cottage Grove is facing four felony charges.
Court documents show Jeffrey Lo, 24, is charged with two counts of kidnapping with a dangerous weapon-firearm, one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon (firearm) and one count of domestic violence-violating an order for protection while possessing a dangerous weapon.
He was in court Monday morning. Bail was set at $750,000 without conditions and $500,000 with them. His next appearance is scheduled for June 24.
The criminal complaint alleges Lo admitted he knew what he did was wrong, stating that he said "he became angry and his emotions took over, and that's why he did what he did that day."
Lo was arrested around 10:30 a.m. Friday, and the two children were located safely.
The BCA had issued an Amber Alert for the one-year-old and three-year-old. The mother, whom authorities say was assaulted by Lo, was taken to the hospital, but was released later in the day, she confirmed to KSTP.
According to the criminal complaint, officers from the Cottage Grove Police Department received a report that a male had taken the children at around 6:30 a.m. Friday. They were dispatched to the area of Highway 61 and 80th Street, where the kidnapping was said to have taken place.
There, the complaint states they located the mother, who was described as "extremely distraught." She was also said to have had a wound on her left cheek and "an extensive amount of blood on her face and down the front of her chest."
She told officers about an order for protection that had been issued against Lo, and that the order allowed him to have a visitation with the children for two hours the following day.
Documents obtained by 5 INVESTIGATES showed the woman continues to retain sole legal and physical custody of the children, but in an order filed in May, Lo was granted temporary parenting time that was scheduled to start last Saturday. The woman was to supervise.
On Jan. 5 of next year, Lo was scheduled to begin to get unsupervised overnight parenting time, running from 10 a.m. Sunday to Monday morning drop-off at daycare or school. Otherwise, Lo was ordered not to enter or stay at the woman's home, and to stay at least two blocks – or a quarter-mile (whichever is greater) – away from the residence. He was also not allowed near her place of employment.
The criminal complaint states the woman said when she went to her vehicle Friday morning, which had been parked in her parents' driveway, Lo was hiding in the back.
As she began to back out of the driveway to take the children to daycare, she said she saw Lo, who then allegedly came to the front of the van, pushed the woman to the passenger side and struck her in the face with a pistol.
He then reportedly drove for a short time, pulling her back in after she tried to get out. She said when she began yelling out the window, he let her out of the vehicle and drove off with the children still inside.
According to the complaint, the woman then flagged down another driver and the two attempted to follow Lo, but could not. The complaint states the woman told officers she was afraid Lo would kill the children.
The Amber Alert was then issued, and a helicopter search found Lo in an area of heavy underbrush near the 7100 block of Hidden Valley Lane. Officers on the ground located him lying on his back with the two children clutched to his chest, the complaint states.
Officers located the van, which was alleged to have had "apparent blood" in areas of the front seat. In the driver's door pocket, a nine-millimeter magazine loaded with 21 rounds was allegedly discovered.
The complaint goes on to say Lo provided a statement, saying he'd had contact with the woman earlier in the week about seeing the children that weekend, but that the woman had stopped communicating with him. He said he'd gone to her residence the day before, and had gotten into an argument with her in the driveway before she drove away.
He reportedly admitted hiding in the woman's van and waiting until she had loaded the children inside and was backing out of the driveway. He then allegedly claimed he had made his presence known and asked about spending the day with the kids. He said the woman slammed on the brakes, causing him to fly into the front of the vehicle.
The complaint states he said that angered him, and admitted to hitting her with once with the gun clip, though he repeatedly denied having a gun itself. Instead, he allegedly stated he had brought the magazine to scare the woman and "emphasize how upset he was."
"Lo said he knew what he did was wrong," the complaint states. "Lo said that he became angry and his emotions took over, and that's why he did what he did that day."
Updated: June 10, 2019 03:42 PM
Created: June 10, 2019 10:51 AM
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