Manhattan, KS. – Further investigation into Joseph Varvel, 25, of Manhattan, and Zane Thomas, 27, of Junction City, has led to our discovery of a separate incident on January 1, 2023, involving the same victim as the January 2, 2023, kidnapping on Gatlinburg Way in Manhattan.
Varvel and Thomas were reported to have held the 26-year-old male victim at gunpoint, and beat and strangled him while driving him around in a car against his will throughout the Manhattan area.
Both are charged with one additional count each of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, with Varvel also receiving one count of aggravated battery and Thomas also receiving one count of aggravated assault. Both remain confined in the Riley County Jail.
These new charges bring bonds of $250,000 to both, raising each of their total bonds to $750,000.
## January 3, 2023##
Manhattan, KS– Three men have been arrested in connection to a kidnapping Monday evening in Manhattan.
The Riley County Communications Center received a 911 call around 8:20 p.m. on January 2, 2023, reporting shots were fired in the 500 block of Gatlinburg Way at the Links Apartments. RCPD officers arrived on scene quickly where a witness reported a shooting followed by a man being forced from an apartment and into a vehicle. Joseph Varvel, 25, of Manhattan was quickly located in the area and detained for questioning.
The Communications Center received an additional 911 call shortly before 11:00 p.m. from the victim, a 26-year-old man, who said he needed help and was located in the 1200 block of Colorado St. in Manhattan. The man was transported to Via Christi for treatment of stab wounds and facial injuries. A man identified as Zane Thomas, 27, of Junction City was present with the victim when officers arrived and detained for questioning.
After further investigation, Thomas was arrested for aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, and possession of marijuana. He remains confined on a total bond of $500,000. Varvel was arrested for aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, unlawful discharge of a firearm into an occupied dwelling, and possession of cocaine. He also remains confined on a total bond of $500,000. A third suspect Cooper Brown, 21, of Manhattan was identified and arrested for aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and aggravated kidnapping. He remains confined on a total bond of $300,000.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing.