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Ludington man jailed for kidnap, assault charges in Ottawa County

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Jan 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM

HOLLAND TWP. — A Ludington man has been jailed in Ottawa County for kidnapping, assaulting and threatening a Holland-area woman late last year with a knife.

Jason Kapala, 29, has been charged with unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, felonious assault, and third-offense domestic violence following an incident at a Holland Township apartment shortly before Christmas.

Kapala allegedly held his girlfriend in her apartment against her will Dec. 23-24. The incident was not reported to police until Jan. 4, when the victim presented herself at a medical facility for treatment of her injuries sustained during the incident.

"It's just a sad, classic case of domestic violence by someone who, frankly, is quite a menace," said Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. "The victim was held against her will in her own apartment. She was ultimately able to leave there of her own accord, but not until she was held there for over a day."

The victim told police that Kapala threatened her with a knife, and she sustained what Bennett called "a multitude of injuries." Her injuries were significant, but not life-threatening.

"There's a cycle of domestic violence here and she was finally able to get the courage to go in (and report it), which we're thankful for," Bennett said.

A warrant was issued Jan. 9 for Kapala's arrest. He was taken into custody Jan. 11 and is currently being held at the Ottawa County Jail.

Bail has been set at a $500,000 cash surety bond. Should he post bail and be released, Kapala will not be allowed to have any contact with the victim, will not be allowed to possess any weapons and cannot leave Michigan.

Bennett said another concern police have with the incident is that the victim's 6-year-old child was in the home at the time. The child was not harmed.

Kapala has an extensive criminal history in Ludington. He was sentenced to 93 days in jail in 2016 for second-offense domestic violence, and was found guilty of assault by strangulation and interfering with electronic communication in 2015.

Unlawful imprisonment has a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and/or fines up to $20,000. Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder has a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $5,000. Kapala's other two charges have a combined maximum penalty of up to nine years in prison and/or fines up to $7,000.

Due to his past felony convictions, Kapala has been marked as a fourth-offense habitual offender. This means that all of his potential maximum sentences increase, and the unlawful imprisonment charge could result in up to a lifetime prison sentence.

"With his record, I don't have a fear that he's going to get out of jail anytime soon," Bennett said. "I think he's where he ought to be. The victim was definitely in fear."

Kapala is set to appear in Holland's 58th District Court at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, for a preliminary exam hearing in front of Judge Susan Jonas.

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