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Attempted Kidnapper Arrested in Clinton County


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Clinton County Sheriff's Office

Larry Fish, Sheriff

Trevor Ballard, Chief Deputy

207 N. Main #6 Plattsburg, MO 64477

Phone 816-539-2156 Fax 816-539-2346


On October 11, 2022, deputies were called to the Lake Arrowhead subdivision on a reported attempted kidnapping. It was learned that the potential 14-year-old female victim was able to refuse to get a ride from a white male who was very insistent on her coming with him. She was able to go to a neighboring house and call for help while providing an accurate description of the vehicle with the license plate and of the male driver. Information was quickly broadcasted to surrounding agencies and the vehicle was located in the city of Holt by Fire Chief Robert Looper of the Holt Fire Department, who radioed the information to deputies who then stopped the vehicle and arrested Austin Gaal after a brief struggle and taser deployment. At the time of this incident, Gaal was under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Probation and Parole with several active outstanding warrants but was listed as compliant with his probation. Clinton County Prosecutor Brandi McClain charged Gaal with Attempted Kidnapping 2nd degree, Resisting Arrest or detention, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Clinton County Associate Judge Teresa Bingham set Gaal's bond at $250,000 cash only. This almost certain unfortunate event was stopped by a very quick-thinking kid who did what we teach kids to do when they are in these situations.