Police: Man kidnaps family members in Willoughby, prompts bomb squad response in downtown Cleveland

Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 14:30:06-05

A man who allegedly tied up multiple family members in his father's basement in Willoughby also caused a response from the bomb squad in downtown Cleveland Saturday. 

According to Willoughby police, it all started around 7 p.m. when 34-year-old Michael Ribaudo went to his father's house for dinner.

After arriving at the house, police say Ribaudo lured his 72-year-old father into the basement where he assaulted him with chloroform before bounding and gagging him. 

Ribaudo then allegedly drove to his mother's house, also in Willoughby, and convinced her to leave with him to go to his father's house. While at his father's house he struggled with his 65-year-old mother before assaulting her and then tying her to a post in the basement. 

Police say Ribaudo then left his father's house and went to his aunt's house in Willowick. They too drove to his father's house. As they walked into the basement, Ribaudo assaulted the 59-year-old woman and also tied her to the post in the basement.

A short time later, one of the women was able to escape. She told Ribaudo that she had called 911 and that help would be on the way. At that time, Ribaudo fled the scene. 

She then called 911 at 11:20 p.m.

When EMS personnel arrived, they treated the victims on scene for injuries to their arms and legs.

Around 4 a.m., Eastlake police found Ribaudo inside his car in the Eastlake Wal-Mart parking lot. He was arrested and transported to the Willoughby Police Department.

Willoughby Police contacted the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for assistance with processing the crime scene. During the investigation, detectives learned that Ribaudo had a background in biology.

Investigators also determined that Ribaudo could be connected to an incident that occurred Monday at the Regal Cinemas in Willoughby.

Police were called to the movie theater around 5:15 p.m. Monday for a report of a suspicious man. 

The man had asked employees what time the theater was the busiest and when the most popular movie was showing.

He then left in a car described as similar to the one Ribaudo was found in early Saturday morning.

Willoughby police then contacted the Cleveland Division of the FBI and Cleveland police to check the welfare of any possible people inside Ribaudo's residence on East 12th Street in downtown Cleveland.

For precautionary reasons, Cleveland police requested the evacuation of several neighboring residences before the suspect's residence was checked with the assistance of the bomb squad. The residence was cleared with no further incident.

Ribaudo appeared in Willoughby Municipal Court Monday for an arraignment. He was appointed a public defender and was being held on at the city jail on a $1 million bond.