Man accused of kidnapping ex-uncle in east Austin


Calvin Varner (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police arrested Calvin Varner after he allegedly kidnapped and threatened his ex-uncle with a pistol in east Austin last week.

In the evening of Aug. 31, Austin police say 29-year-old Varner approached his ex-uncle while he was preparing for a party by loading food into his vehicle on the 5200 block of Marrymont Drive. The affidavit states that Varner told his ex-uncle he wanted to talk to him about past events. The victim said that he didn’t have time to talk, which the affidavit said made Varner angry. Varner then grabbed a gun and pulled the slide to chamber a round, according to the affidavit.

Police say Varner then told his ex-uncle to get into his rental car and Varner drove away while pointing the firearm to the victim’s head.

The affidavit says that after about five minutes, Varner put the loaded gun in his lap and the victim took that opportunity to reach for it. They began to struggle and a shot was fired, hitting Varner in the leg. The gun’s magazine released into the victim’s hand and then he exited the vehicle and he ran to safety, eventually taking a bus back to his home.

Police say Varner left the scene and made three phone calls before calling police or EMS for help. The affidavit states that Varner called family members asking for them to pick-up his rental car. Police found Varner at the intersection of Thompkins Dr. and Trotwood Dr., about seven miles from the scene of the shooting.

The detective notes in the affidavit, “it is not normal for someone who is a victim to get shot and then drive seven miles and make three phone calls asking someone to come and move evidence.”

According to the affidavit, after Varner was treated and released from the hospital, police interviewed him and he claimed his ex-uncle was the one who pulled the gun and shot at him in the car several times. Only one shell was found in the vehicle and no casings would have ejected out the window because they were up, the affidavit said.

Varner is charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault. He is listed as being in custody in the Travis County Jail.

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