Authorities in western Iowa say a Walnut man arrested Wednesday night near Council Bluffs faces kidnapping and assault charges. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says 33-year old James Chelf was being held without bond Thursday, for allegedly threatening to kill his wife and forcing her into a car. Danker says Chelf’s sister, who lives with her brother and his wife Nineen, called authorities to say her brother had been physically abusive to his wife.
Danker says Chelf allegedly got mad after his wife and sister refused to take him to Omaha. He then allegedly shoved his wife and pushed her down before taking a knife off of the wall and putting in his belt and threatened there would be trouble if anyone got in his way. The Sheriff says what happened after that depends on who you ask.
"His sister said (Chelf’s) wife was taken against her will," Danker said. Chelf, however, claims his wife didn’t want him driving the car, so she drove, but got mad and "bailed out" near Shelby. She was picked-up later by another motorist. Nineen Chelf was taken to the Cornstalk Restaurant in Shelby. Deputies later stopped James Chelf by Council Bluffs and arrested him. Danker says there were no serious injuries resulting from the domestic situation, which reportedly had another interesting twist.
"(Chelf’s) sister claimed he forced his wife to flush her wedding ring down the toilet before the couple left," Danker said. Danker says no one has been able to get ahold of Nineen or her sister to follow-up on the incident and collaborate their stories. Chelf was being held Thursday in the Pottawattamie County Jail on charges that include second-degree kidnapping, aggravated assault and serious assault.