Mass. man sent to prison for trying to kidnap Michigan woman

July 12, 2022 GMT

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Massachusetts man was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison Tuesday for driving his Mercedes-Benz to Michigan to try to kidnap a former girlfriend whom he hadn’t seen in roughly 20 years.

Police found handcuffs in a Louis Vuitton bag, brass knuckles, zip ties, a stun gun, duct tape and more when they stopped Damon Burke in suburban Detroit in 2021.

“Burke committed an offense so serious, and with a fact pattern so bizarre and frightening, that it sounds more like a movie than real life,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne said in a court filing.

Burke, 49, was arrested soon after assaulting his former girlfriend’s roommate at a golf course and stealing the man’s house key.

Burke in March pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping. He is from Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard.

Defense attorney Richard O’Neill said Burke was a personal trainer and soccer coach before his arrest.

“He would not have been able to hold those positions if the community did not have trust in him and further indicate that his actions here were out of character,” O’Neill said.

Burke will serve a separate prison sentence for the assault at the same time as the federal sentence.