PALESTINE—An unknown female and her two accomplices apparently kidnapped city council candidate, Ricky Minton, drove him to a highly visible street corner in district 1, then tied him to a large tree before stripping him of all his clothes and his dignity. At least that’s the story Minton recorded in an exclusive interview with the Dogwood Tale during the first week in May on condition the details would not be publicly released until after the election.
Minton described the ordeal that began the first morning of early voting when he stopped to render aid to a woman and her two female companions who appeared to be having car trouble, “I get out of my car and walk up to offer my assistance, next thing I know, I’ve been handcuffed, blindfolded and shoved into the backseat of her vehicle.” Minton, who continually scratched at his crotch throughout the interview, alleges he was dragged from the vehicle and tied to a tree. After his mouth was covered with duct tape, the trio removed the blindfold, an action Minton reasoned, “was so I could see what they were going to do to me next.”
The three ladies then ripped his clothes off, leaving him butt naked except for his socks and shoes. Minton stated it was during this time of “awful humiliation” that he saw a “Vote for Adam Harding for City Council” sign beside the tree and what occurred next he recalls “was absolutely unbelievable.” According to Minton, the ladies took a permanent marker and added the words “and not for this guy,” then drew an arrow pointing to the tree, “So there I was,” he described, “tied to a tree, next to a Vote for Adam Harding and Not for This Guy sign, the arrow clearly pointing to my fat naked body.”
Minton estimated he was tied up for “some five hours” as he helplessly watched the parade of cars grow in number, but feels he maintained what dignity he could by acknowledging the frequent horn honks with a “polite nod of my head.” His neck growing stiff and sore, Minton was close to exhaustion when a car finally pulled off the road, came to stop and a middle-aged woman got out. The council candidate described in disbelief what happened next, “I thought she was going to untie me, but she comes up and says, oh you poor thing, let me cover up your little fellow there.” Minton said the good Samaritan, “grabbed a handful of green leaves and duct taped them to my Little Ricky, then gets back in her car and drives off.”
It wasn’t until hours after his eventual rescue, that Minton began to itch “pretty badly” and when he checked on his “southern region,” he said “Little Ricky looked like a newborn baby with a bad case of diaper rash.” Minton is not sure who was involved in his abduction, but is certain his council opponent, Adam Harding, had “no involvement whatsoever.” emphasizing the fact Mr. Harding offered to supply Little Ricky with an “unlimited supply of poison ivy ointment” until he was back to normal.
Summing up the traumatic ordeal after Saturday’s election defeat, Minton had this message for his abductors, “You may have managed to embarrass me, you may have cost me some votes, but I remained focused and was definitely itchin’ to win, and although my 38 votes came up short, I can honestly say I didn’t give up, I scratched and clawed my way to the very end.”