A Bronx, New York man today admitted his role in a Paterson kidnapping, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Federal officials say, Maurice Cottman, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of kidnapping.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Oct. 8, 2020, Cottman and his conspirator, Reginald Law, entered a retail store in Paterson and assaulted the victim, who was working in the store.
Cottman and Law dragged the victim from the store, threw him into the back of a U-Haul truck and drove to New York.
Cottman and Law pistol-whipped the victim in the head and face. Cottman called the victim’s family and demanded $200,000 for his return.
That afternoon, law enforcement officers went to Harlem, New York, where they saw the U-Haul parked on the street.
When the officers approached, Cottman and Law fled in the U-Haul and a motor-vehicle pursuit ensued. After some distance, the U-Haul crashed, and a foot pursuit ensued. Cottman was arrested, but Law got away. The officers opened the U-Haul and rescued the victim.
Law was arrested on May 26, 2021.
The kidnapping charge to which Cottman pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2022.