COLUMBIA CITY — A Churubusco man is accused of kidnapping his wife and using a handgun to shoot a cell phone that was used to call 911 during an altercation last week.

Colton Cabiya, 26, of Churubusco, is charged with kidnapping with a deadly weapon, two counts of criminal confinement, criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm, operating while intoxicated, OWI per se, intimidation and residential entry, after an alleged incident that began in Churubusco and ended at Miami Village Mobile Home Park Sept. 25.


A friend of the alleged victim called police after she witnessed a threatening encounter between Cabiya and his wife, according to court documents. The friend told Churubusco Deputy Marshal Dustin Papenbrock that the couple was having marital issues, and she accompanied her friend to pick up clothes and a diaper bag for the children.

The friend told Papenbrock that when they went to the home, Cabiya allegedly “came out of the house with his handgun, pointing the gun at their truck and firing at least one shot into the ground in the backyard near their vehicle,” court documents state. The wife said in court documents her husband had been taking anabolic steroids and had been acting “erratically.”

The wife went with her children to her in-law’s home at Miami Village for the night, but Colton Cabiya allegedly followed her there, and allegedly fired five shots inside parents’ home after he allegedly kicked in the door, looking for his wife.

One of those shots was at a phone, which was used to call 911. Papenbrock, who knew the parents lived at Miami Village, responded to the scene, fearing a situation between the parties was out of hand.

When Papenbrock arrived on the scene, a man accompanied by a woman and child, who were identified as Cabiya’s parents, came running toward Papenbrock from another area in the trailer court. At the same time, Cabiya allegedly sped away with his wife and two handguns in-tow.

While police were arranging a traffic stop, police saw Cabiya allegedly toss two handguns out the window of his vehicle. He was later apprehended at gunpoint without incident.

In an interview with officers at the Whitley County Jail, Cabiya told police he planned to die by “suicide by cop,” and intended to “come out of the vehicle with both handguns and shoot above the officers’ heads so that we would be forced to shoot him,” Papenbrock wrote in his police report. Cabiya allegedly told Papenbrock he couldn’t follow through because, “he did not want us to have to live with knowing we had killed someone.”

After his arrest, Cabiya tested a blood alcohol content of 0.097, over Indiana’s legal driving limit of .08. He also admitted that he has “been dealing with mental illness for a long time and that since he had been taking anabolic steroids it has gotten worse,” the report states.

Cabiya’s wife and parents have written to the court asking for the removal of no-contact orders, but Prosecuting Attorney D.J. Sigler said he did not see that as an appropriate action at this stage in the case and denied the request. Cabiya’s next hearing is Oct. 30.

In other Monday Circuit Court news:

• Billy Crowe, 37, of Medaryville, appeared for an initial hearing on eight charges, four counts of level 5 burglary and four counts of level 6 theft. The charges allege that between Oct. 1-24, 2016, Crowe broke into and stole equipment from CMD Construction and Harbor Electric. If convicted, Crowe could face up to a six-year sentence. His next hearing is Oct. 30.

• Justin Hammond, 28, of Columbia City, appeared for an initial hearing on four drug charges. He is charged with dealing a narcotic, a level 5 felony; possession of a narcotic, a level 6 felony; and dealing and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. If convicted, Hammond could face a sentence of up to six years. His next hearing is Oct. 30.

• James Elliott, 39, of South Whitley, also appeared for an initial hearing. Elliott is charged with one count of check deception, a level 6 felony. Having recently secured a job and due to the nature of the alleged offense, Rentschler granted Elliott a continuance to Oct. 30 to find a lawyer and become established with his new employer.

• Elizabeth Sweet, 28, of Columbia City received a three-year sentence in accordance with a plea agreement on the charges of possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance, level 5 and 6 felonies, respectively. Defense attorney Brad Baber pushed for a light sentence within the bounds of the plea agreement.

“This is her first arrest ever. Elizabeth was in a bad situation where she felt trapped,” Baber argued.

Sigler agreed that Sweet was “helpful in cleaning up the case,” but voiced concerns about a potential substance abuse problem. Ultimately, Sweet will serve two years in the Whitley County Jail with one year suspended. Judge James Heuer did not rule out work release, and ordered her to partake in substance abuse programs offered through the county.

• Matthew Frye, 32, of Churubusco, requested time to speak with his appointed lawyer, Anthony Churchward, on a violation of probation. Frye allegedly tested positive for marijuana Aug. 28. The hearing was continued to Oct. 10.

• Jammie Pulley, 41, of Fort Wayne, received a continuance on a child support hearing while she waits for a pending Social Security Disability claim. She missed her previous hearing due to doctor appointments, and Heuer recalled her arrest warrant. Sigler expressed frustration with Pulley’s case, saying “the problem from my end is that she owes $10,000 and has done nothing about it since June.”

• Charles Berry Jr., 23, of Merriville, rescheduled his trial after Jan. 30 became open for Churchward. Berry is charged with several counts of sexual misconduct with a minor as well as child solicitation and molestation. Berry’s final pre-trial conference is now scheduled for Jan. 22.