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Police: Man beats 66-year-old with pistol and held him hostage

Aug 15, 2023, 3:14 PM

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — A man is accused of holding an elderly man hostage in his home for several hours and repeatedly beating him with a pistol, police say.

Benlewis Rock Neilson, 38, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for felony charges of aggravated kidnapping, intentional aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, domestic violence in the presence of a child, and misdemeanor arson, according to the affidavit.

On Saturday night, West Jordan police officers were contacted by the 66-year-old male victim at the West Jordan police station. He claimed Neilson held him at his home for about two-and-a-half hours and was beaten by the suspect.

According to the affidavit, the victim arrived at his home, where he lives with Neilson, his wife, and his 14-year-old son.

“The victim advised he was punched, pistol-whipped, and had a handgun pointed at him by (Neilson),” the affidavit stated. “The victim had multiple abrasions and lacerations all over his body including chest, back, shoulders, head, and face.”

The victim said that Neilson pointed the gun at his head and said he would kill him.

“The victim explained he had to lie to be able to convince (Neilson) to allow him to leave, and that had taken an hour as (Neilson) would not trust him,” the affidavit stated.

The victim said Nelison’s son witnessed the alleged assault and asked him to call 911, but “the juvenile refused, saying he did not want pedophiles to come and get him,” according to the affidavit.

The victim reported Neilson burned his wife’s clothing in the backyard. A few days later, police executed a search warrant at the home and found the remains of the burned clothing.

According to the affidavit, police interviewed the 14-year-old, who confirmed to police that he witnessed the alleged assault.

The affidavit stated that Neilson has “made statements regarding having a shootout with police” and shooting his home as he has access to “high-powered rifles.” Neilson was also involuntarily admitted to the hospital for a mental health assessment.

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Police: Man beats 66-year-old with pistol and held him hostage