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Colo. Man Assaults Neighbor He Mistook For Molester


Fort Collins police have arrested a man who they say kidnapped and assaulted another man, after mistaking him for a child molester.

Brandon Mau, 32, of Fort Collins, is being held on $250,000 bond in the Larimer County Jail.

Investigators told 7NEWS that Mau approached the alleged victim in an apartment complex parking lot near West Plum Street and South Taft Hill Road late Tuesday.

"The suspect immediately took a knife and placed it strongly against the victim's throat," said Capt. Don Vagge, of the Fort Collins Police Department. "He was actually sort of choking him and threatening to kill him."

Vagge said Mau forced the other man into his (Mau?s) car and drove to an area near City Park.

"The suspect repeatedly slapped the victim and continued to say that he would kill him," Vagge said. "He kicked him several times, then released him and told him to walk back to his apartment."

But instead of walking home, the man went to a nearby fire station and asked for help.

Police said the incident began when a friend of Mau told him that one of her neighbors was a child molester.

"Investigators have found no basis to believe that," Vagge said. "It was just her opinion."

The alleged victim declined to talk to 7NEWS, saying he didn't want to jeopardize the case.

But a source told 7NEWS that the man suffered bruises on his neck and back during the alleged assault.

"He thought he was going to have a heart attack," the source said.

After learning about the possibleassault, Fort Collins police activated their SWAT unit to execute a search warrant at Mau?s residence.

Court documents show that Mau's criminal history includes a 2009 arrest on a burglary charge involving assault or menacing and possession of dangerous weapons.

"That's why the SWAT team was used," police said.

Police didn't find Mau at home, but they did find him in the Campus West area Wednesday afternoon. That's when he was arrested.

Mau's neighbors said they can't believe that he would try to take matters into his own hands.

"It just makes me kind of uncomfortable if other people start doing that," said Anna Jensen. "So I hope it doesn't become a trend."

Vagge said, "If anyone has questions about an alleged sex offender, they should be contacting police."

Vagge reiterated that police have no reason to believe that the alleged victim in this case is a sex offender.

Mau is facing possible charges of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, felony menacing and third-degree assault.

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