COUNCIL BLUFFS — Although she didn’t know her assailant’s last name, a severely beaten woman knew who assaulted her, several first responders said. She told them, “Bryan did this.”
Bryan Bey, 39, was charged with first- and second-degree kidnapping after Tabitha Proplesch was discovered handcuffed and beaten in a truck on Old Mormon Bridge Road on May 31.
During the second day of Bey’s trial, in which he is representing himself as legal counsel, the jury heard from numerous law enforcement officers who responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on Old Mormon Bridge Road.
Capt. Tom Bruun of the Iowa Department of Transportation was the first person to arrive. He said he could see someone with long hair sitting in the front of the truck. When dispatch relayed that the owner of the vehicle was wanted and considered armed and dangerous, Bruun waited for backup before approaching the vehicle.
As Bruun helped pull Proplesch from the truck, he said, he could not tell right away if she was a man or a woman. He said her face was severely beaten and swollen.
Bey suggested during cross-examination that some facts were expanded upon.
“Has anything you said or done been impregnated with dramatized facts so the victim would get justice?” Bey asked Bruun.
Bruun said he was just stating what happened.
Trooper Tim Sieleman said Proplesch was beaten so badly that she couldn’t even tell officers her name.
“In my 15 years, it’s probably one of the worst beatings I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Crescent Volunteer Fire Capt. Eric Hallagan said Proplesch continued to answer the same questions over and over as they sped toward an Omaha hospital. One of those questions was, “Do you know who did this to you?”
“Bryan,” she said.
Hallagan said she did not know his last name but told him that “Bryan” was a friend of a friend. That friend, she said, was Travis Labno.
Labno, 33, of Omaha was also arrested, but charges were later dropped. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said Labno is expected to testify at Bey’s trial.
Proplesch is expected to testify this afternoon.