Emily Welker, Published May 09 2014
Accused Craigslist sex ad slasher charged with kidnapping previous victim
Obsa Ali Omer, 18, was charged Friday in Cass County District Court with one count of Class A felony robbery and one count of Class B felony kidnapping.
Court documents filed with the charges say the wife of one of the victims called Fargo police just after 4 p.m. May 2 to say her husband had been kidnapped by a man with a gun and forced to drive to St. Paul.
A Fargo police officer contacted the victim, who told Officer Michelle Voeltz he was at the Love’s truck stop, 3220 32nd Ave. S., buying cigarettes at about 11:30 a.m. when a black man jumped in the passenger side of his vehicle.
The man produced a gun and told him to head east on I-94, the victim claimed, forcing him to stop once for gas in Fergus Falls, Minn., and eventually getting out and leaving the victim with the car in St. Paul.
Court records say police in Moorhead received a similar report the previous day about a different man being held at gunpoint and forced to drive from Moorhead to St. Cloud.
In the Moorhead case, the victim placed a personal ad on Craigslist, and another man agreed to meet him on the south side of town.
When the Moorhead victim arrived at the arranged spot, a black man with a gun got into the car, and allowed him to stop for cash in exchange for his freedom. In this case, the suspect took the victim’s car.
Fargo police detectives interviewed the Fargo victim, who admitted his kidnapping didn’t start with a random stranger at a truck stop.
The man said he posted a Craigslist ad earlier that Friday morning, and arranged with the man who answered to meet him at a south Fargo location, where he met the man and was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint.
Police got the suspect’s phone number from the Moorhead victim and traced the phone’s location, which led them to a south Fargo apartment.
As police were tracking their suspect Wednesday and conducting surveillance on an apartment building, court documents say, police received a report of a possible carjacking nearby.
The victim in that case also reported he had responded to a Craigslist sex ad, and when he picked up the other man near apartments on 13th Avenue South, the suspect produced a knife and told the victim, “I’m jacking you.”
Instead of cooperating, the victim said he tried to flee with his truck keys in the 25th Street South construction zone. The robber, later identified as Omer, fought him for the keys and slashed his arm before taking off on foot.
Police have told The Forum they believe there are other victims who haven’t come forward.
Omer’s bail was set at $500,000. His next court date is set for June 5.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541