Potnets man arrested in assault, kidnapping of elderly couple

Delaware State Police this week arrested a Millsboro-area man after he allegedly entered a residence while armed, allegedly assaulted a couple in their 80s and then allegedly kidnapped them.

According to the DSP, on Saturday, July 28, around 9:43 a.m., troopers were dispatched to M&T Bank at 19511 Camelot Drive in Rehoboth Beach, in reference to a victim reporting she had been kidnapped and her vehicle was stolen.

SnellUpon arrival, they said, contact was made with an 81-year-old woman who told police that a suspect had left the bank with her husband in the trunk of her vehicle. The vehicle, police said, was subsequently located parked behind the Subway at 19470 Coastal Highway. The victim’s 82-year-old husband was located, they said, and the suspect had fled on foot.

Police said further investigation revealed that the suspect, Steven Snell of Millsboro, had allegedly gone to the victims’ residence, located in the Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club, earlier that morning and had allegedly entered the residence through an open garage door. They said that, once inside, he asked the man to use the house phone, used the phone and then asked the man for a drink.

The victim, police said, provided Snell with a drink of water, but when he turned around, Snell allegedly grabbed him from behind and allegedly put a box-cutter to the man’s throat. According to the DSP, a brief struggle ensued, in which the victim received a laceration to his chin.

Police said the victim proceeded to yell for his wife, who was upstairs, and as the victim’s wife proceeded downstairs, she was met by Snell, who allegedly pushed her to the floor. Snell, police said, then allegedly proceeded to obtain rope that he had in his book bag and allegedly tied the male victim’s arms behind his back and his feet together.

According to the DSP, Snell then allegedly took an undisclosed amount of cash out of the man’s pocket and the woman’s purse, along with a M&T Bank card. Snell then allegedly placed the man in the truck of the wife’s vehicle and the wife in the front passenger seat and left the residence.

As they arrived at M&T Bank, police said, Snell allegedly ordered the woman to the ATM machine to withdraw cash. After the woman withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash, police said, she tried to hold onto a railing as Snell allegedly began to try to pull her back to the vehicle.

At that point, a bank customer had arrived, police said, and observed what was going on, at which point Snell, they said, let the female go and fled the area in the vehicle, with her husband still inside the trunk. The woman then proceeded into the bank and requested help, they said.

While still in the trunk, police said, the man realized the vehicle had come to a stop. He was able to free his hands, locate a release button inside the trunk and exit the vehicle. The man was treated at the scene, and the woman was not injured during the incident.

Through investigative measures, troopers said, they were able to identify Snell as the suspect. Snell was later apprehended without incident at a residence located in Potnets Creekside near Millsboro.

He was charged with two counts of Kidnapping First Degree, three counts of Robbery First Degree (Displays What Appears to be a Deadly Weapon), Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, Home Invasion, Assault Second Degree, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Offensive Touching. He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $362,100 cash-only bond.