Damon Flanagan

Damon Flanagan

Courtesy of the Casper Police Department

A Casper man pleaded not guilty Friday morning to two charges alleging he kidnapped his girlfriend and choked her.

Damon Flanagan, 47, pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of strangulation of a household member at his arraignment in Natrona County District Court.

Casper police arrested Flanagan on May 30 after people reported that a man forced a woman into his van in the 1200 block of South Cedar Street. Officers later located the van near the Sunrise Shopping Center, though Flanagan drove away when a officer approached his door.

He stopped again about four blocks later and police forcefully removed him from the van. According to the court documents, officers believed that Flanagan was under the influence of a “central nervous stimulant” at the time.

The woman, who was in a dating relationship with Flanagan, told police that Flanagan had held her down and choked her at various times during her ride in the van while someone else was driving. She said that at one point she was foaming from the mouth and throwing up from being choked.

She told police that Flanagan drove them both up Casper Mountain and threatened to kill her and himself, according to court documents.

Flanagan told police that he was attempting to take the woman to the Wyoming Behavioral Institute, because he was worried about her mental health.

If convicted of the aggravated kidnapping charge, Flanagan could face between five years to life imprisonment. The strangulation charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Flanagan remained in custody Friday morning on $50,000 bond.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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