Court orders evaluation for kidnapping suspect

 


John Konecny, a Saratoga resident arrested last week on charges of kidnapping, battery, theft and property destruction stemming from an incident in April, appeared in court Monday and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to a family member.

The family member, who asked not to be named in the paper due to privacy issues and whose statements the Sun was able to corroborate with court documents, said Konecny was suffering from a mental illness and had gone off medications, precipitating an ordeal that was ongoing for months.

The ordeal culminated in Konecny allegedly kidnapping a person with whom he was friends. According to an affidavit filed by the Saratoga Police Department, Konecny allegedly held the victim against his will in the victim’s home. Police also allege Konecny battered the victim, and stole and destroyed property from the victim’s home.

Police said in the affidavit that Konecny and an acquaintance who witnessed the alleged kidnapping, battery and property crimes then left the victim’s home and went to the Whistle Pig Saloon south of Saratoga.

After being told the suspects were at the bar, Saratoga police staked out the Whistle Pig, waiting for backup from the Carbon County Sheriff’s office in hopes of taking the suspect into custody. After Konecny’s acquaintance attempted to leave the bar, police blocked his exit and took him into custody for investigative detention, according to the affidavit. Konecny was not at the bar, and police assumed he had fled on foot.


Konecny’s acquaintance was questioned and later released by the police with no charges filed.

Based on the affidavit filed by the Saratoga Police Department, the Carbon County Attorney issued a warrant for Konecny’s arrest on charges of kidnapping, battery, theft and destruction of property.

Konecny was later arrested in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was transferred to Carbon County Jail Wednesday.

The family member who spoke to the Sun said the family struggled to get Konecny into a mental health facility where he could be treated and stabilized. Even though the Saratoga Police were helpful and compassionate to the family, the family had difficulty getting Konecny the help he needed because of cracks in the mental health system, the family member said.

Konecny was hospitalized in January, the person said, but was released before proper treatment could be rendered.

Konecny was diagnosed with a mental illness 17 years ago and had been stable on medications, the person said. He also had a family and owned and ran a successful business. “This is not who he is,” the person said. “There is much more to who he is than this.”

Because of the stigma associated with mental health issues and other media sources sensationalizing the criminal actions and, in the person’s opinion, re-victimizing the kidnapping victim by reporting humiliating details of the event, the family member was concerned Konecny would be remembered only for his actions while he was not medicated and suffering from severe mental health issues.

Monday, Konecny appeared in court in Rawlins according to the family member. There, the court ordered Konecny to obtain a mental health evaluation and receive treatment, the family said.

As of press time Tuesday, a request for information about the Monday court order was unavailable. Because of health care privacy laws, the court would have to review which documents it could release, a court employee said.

 

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