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Woman Rescued After Texting Employer She Couldn’t Come to Work Because She’d Been Kidnapped

In World
April 17, 2024

Anthony Peterson, 39, has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and terrorizing with a dangerous weapon, court records show

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Cass County Jail

Anthony Peterson

  • A North Dakota woman told her boss she couldn’t come to work because she was being held hostage, prompting an investigation, police say

  • The woman alleges she had been kidnapped by Anthony Peterson, her ex-boyfriend, per authorities

  • Court records show Peterson has several domestic violence-related convictions in Minnesota

A North Dakota woman who was allegedly being held hostage for three days has been rescued after she texted her boss while in captivity, authorities say.

Anthony Peterson, 39, has been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and terrorizing with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident, online court records show.

Police responded to a Fargo, N.D., home on April 8 after the woman reportedly sent her boss a text message claiming she had allegedly been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend and would not be able to come to work, Fargo Police Department said in a statement on Thursday.

Her employer promptly notified authorities who then dispatched officers to the scene, per the statement.

When officers arrived at the residence, it was the woman who opened the door and she was rescued “safely” from the scene, the statement said. The woman, whose name and age have not been released, told police that Peterson had allegedly held her “hostage at gunpoint” in her home and did not let her leave the residence since Friday, police said.

While interviewing the woman, police found Peterson asleep on a couch and “in possession of a handgun,” according to Fargo PD. The gun was allegedly stolen and Peterson is not allowed to have a firearm in his possession, police said.

Peterson, who is from Lakeville, Minn., has several convictions in his home state between 2003 and as recently as 2023, online court records show. The convictions include violating a protection order on three separate occasions, stalking and domestic assault, per records.

He was also charged with assault in Fargo in 2011 and that case was dismissed in 2019, online records show. He pleaded not guilty in that case.

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Following last week’s arrest, Peterson was also facing charges for stolen property and felonious restraint, Fargo police said in their statement. Court and jail records show he has not been charged with those offenses.

A public defender representing Peterson tells PEOPLE he anticipates the suspect will plead not guilty for the charges.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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