The defense attorney for a man accused of kidnapping in Benton County says his client may be unfit to proceed in the case due to mental illness, court records show.

Kevan Michael Rower faces one charge of second-degree kidnapping for allegedly holding onto a developmentally disabled man and forcing him to walk around Corvallis for hours, according to authorities.

Rower’s attorney, John Rich, filed a motion Tuesday indicating Rower should go to the Oregon State Hospital for an evaluation.

In the motion, Rich states Rower “has been unable to understand the nature of the proceedings against him.”

Rich states that when he visited Rower on Monday, his client made statements that “were not logical and were inconsistent with the information I had about his case.”

The attorney said Rower may be unable to participate in his defense.

A status check in Rower’s case has been set for Nov. 30. As of Thursday, Rower was being held in the Benton County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Corvallis police arrested Rower, who is from Lincoln County, on Oct. 18 after a woman called authorities to report she had been approached by two men acting erratically on the sidewalk near Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Police contacted the two men at Northwest Walnut Boulevard and Northwest Elmwood Drive, a police report states. Rower would not allow police to speak with the alleged victim and was aggressively holding onto him and leading him from officers, according to the report.

Police had to physically fight with Rower to get him to let go of the alleged victim, the report states.

The alleged victim told police he was alone when he came into contact with Rower on Circle Boulevard, police said. The men did not previously know one another, according to police.

The alleged victim is a client of Benco, a local nonprofit organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, police said.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or lillian.schrock@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 

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