Universal City teen brutally beaten and kidnapped, police say

Upstairs neighbor in police custody

UNIVERSAL CITY – A man has been arrested after a brutal kidnapping at an apartment complex in Universal City left a teen traumatized and neighbors too afraid to speak.

The incident happened at The Colony apartment complex, located in the 300 block of Kitty Hawk Road, around 4 p.m., Feb. 25.

Police said a 16-year-old boy was getting out of his vehicle in front of his apartment when a man approached and forced him into the laundry room, which was located right next door.

According to a police report, the suspect allegedly attacked the teen and even threatened to shoot him before eventually taking him to another apartment, which is located directly above the teen’s unit.

It was during the attack when the teen sent a text message to his parents to call 911 for help, according to police documents.

After taking the teen to the upstairs unit, police said the suspect took a pair of pants to restrain him and robbed him of his belongings. Before freeing the teen, officials said the suspect also went through the teen’s pockets and took his apartment keys.

The teen left the apartment, made it to his car and drove away for safety to the 1400 block of Pat Booker, where he immediately called for help, according to an affidavit.

James Barnett Jr., 24, is charged with aggravated kidnapping. Police said Barnett Jr. has a history of violence and has been involved in assaults before this one, including an assault on a police officer.

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