COOLIDGE — Police have released further details on the investigation of the man who allegedly kidnapped himself to avoid work, creating a media sensation.
Last month, 19-year-old Brandon Soules was found bound and gagged near the Coolidge water tower. Soules at the time told police that two men hit him and then drove him around demanding information about money buried in the desert.
The story went viral when it was revealed that Soules admitted to fabricating the story, and police charged him with false reporting.
Two key elements led police to believe that the story was untrue. First, police were able to obtain security footage from Soules’ neighbors. In Soules’ original telling, two masked men approached him at his residence around 8 a.m. asking where his father was before knocking him unconscious and putting him in their car. However, the footage offered a clear view of the driveway where Soules lived, and no such event occurred during that time. The footage showed Soules exiting the house at around 2 p.m. and walking east toward the water tower.
After viewing that footage, police confronted Soules, still in the hospital, and he amended his story to include text threats.
The second flaw in the story was the identity of Soules’ alleged kidnappers. Soules identified the two kidnappers as being his Uncle Dalin and a man named “Sick” who was a member of Hell’s Angels. He said the two men had threatened his son and girlfriend. According to Soules, he had an abusive history with Dalin when they’d lived in New Mexico. He said Dalin once forced him to snort cocaine at gunpoint.
However, not only could police not find any threatening messages on Soules’ phone or on social media, but a records check revealed Dalin — full name Dalin Webster — had been incarcerated at the Gila County Jail in Globe since Jan. 8.
At that point, Soules was arrested and interviewed at the Coolidge Police Department, where he admitted to fabricating the story to get out of work at the Tire Factory. Soules also cited a personal issue that made him too upset and distressed to go to work.
In a bizarre twist, police were again dispatched to Soules’ residence two days after his arrest for an entirely different reason. This time Soules was the actual victim.
Soules’ cat was allegedly killed by his roommate, Jace Dickey, who police said admitted to committing the crime and showed police the body in a trash can. Dickey said he was cleaning out the litter box and then strangled the cat when it wouldn’t stop hissing. Dickey was arrested and transported to the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for charges of animal cruelty and killing a domestic animal.