Saturday, February 19, 2022 - A Vian man was charged Feb. 15 with kidnapping and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, court records reveal.
Robert Carl Ward Sr., 66, could receive up to 30 years in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary if convicted on both counts.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted that a woman was running in the woods on South 4707 Road saying she was being shot at.
On their way to the scene, dispatch notified the officers that the suspect, Ward, was driving a blue Ford F-150. The deputies stopped at a residence there and were told he hadn’t seen Ward in several months, but they learned the suspect used to have a place south of the area but no one had lived there in quite some time.
The deputies continued south on 4707 Road, where they came into contact with a woman who was crying and extremely upset. According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, the woman had two black zip-ties on her right wrist. She requested medical attention for an injured knee and officers dispatched an ambulance to State Highway 101, where they met the emergency vehicle.
The terrified woman told deputies Ward picked her up from her home and drove her to his property after accusing her of taking his watch.
Telling her people “wouldn’t recognize her again,” Ward then allegedly zip-tied her wrist. She said the suspect came around to the truck’s passenger side, at which point she jumped in the driver’s seat and leapt out of the vehicle and fled into the woods.
The woman said that as she was running away, Ward fired three shots at her. She told deputies that on the third shot she fell down and that is when Ward hurt her knee.
A Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office investigator was notified of the incident and went to Northeastern Health System-Sequoyah, where a nurse said the alleged victim had left the hospital before being cleared by a doctor.
The woman came to the Sheriff’s Office later that day to make a formal statement.
According to her report, Ward called her on Oct. 10, 2021, saying he needed help with something. It was unusual for Ward to ask her for assistance, the woman said, so she told her roommate that if anything happened to her, she was with him.
About 15 minutes later, she received a text from Ward telling her he was outside her residence. The woman told officers she then left the house and got into the truck.
Ward began driving north on Highway 59, the woman said. After telling her he wanted his watch back, Ward said, “Every time you lie to me, I’m going to hit you in the mouth.”
The woman said she became terrified when Ward then told her, “I’m going to do something I don’t wanna do, but I have to.”
The victim said Ward then began driving east on Highway 101 until they hit 4690 Road in Sequoyah County. He stopped at an abandoned building known as 101 Speed Shop, where he told her “one more mile … tell me where my stuff is.”
She then told Ward that whatever he did to her, she would “go through (it) with my head held high because I didn’t do it.”
The next thing Ward said, the woman reported, was “I guess you’ll have to die then.”
The woman said she assumed Ward was just trying to scare her, but he kept driving. She said she thought about opening the truck’s door, but the man told her not to “think about running because I’ll find you.”
Ward then stopped the truck, the woman said, and zip-tied her arm. She said she began screaming and tried to get away, but Ward told her to give him her other hand or he would break it.
He then reportedly told her “last chance, where’s my stuff?” The woman insisted she did not have Ward’s watch but he threw her back into the passenger seat and exited the truck.
At that point, the victim said, she thought about locking the truck’s doors, but instead grabbed her purse and fled. She said she could hear gunshots and Ward yelled “stop running … or I’m gonna kill you like the dog you are.”
The woman said she then pulled a pocketknife from her purse and cut one of the zip-ties off her wrist and called 911.
She said while she was on the phone Ward once again began shooting.
The victim told deputies she saw a long-barreled pistol in the back seat.
She stated that she had left the hospital after the incident because she was afraid Ward would find her and kill her.
Deputies attempted to contact Ward on Nov. 7, 2021, and left a message. They then contacted Ward’s wife who told them to speak with her attorney.
The lawyer said he would contact Ward, who was working out of state, and set up an interview time with his client, but said he didn’t know when Ward would be back.
On Dec. 27, 2021, the attorney said Ward had bad experiences in past interviews and an arrest.
With a warrant to get DNA from Ward, law enforcement was told that if a warrant was issued by District Attorney Jack Thorp, Ward would surrender and submit to the DNA cheek swab.
On Feb. 11, 2022, officers were finally able to execute a search warrant on Ward to get his DNA after he was arrested along with two other men in a sting operation involving stolen property and illegal substances.
Laura Brown, Staff Writer
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