Suspects charged with felony kidnapping after Loretto incident

Medina Police Chief Ed Belland describes the kidnapping of a Loretto man.

Medina Police Chief Ed Belland describes the kidnapping of a Loretto man.

Medina Police on Friday   released the name of a  37-year-old Loretto man  who was kidnapped at gun point Wednesday evening in the driveway of his home in the 100 block of Chippewa Road.

The victim, Javier Velasco, is traumatized but not injured after the incident,  according to Medina Police Chief Ed Belland.

On Friday, two suspects in the kidnapping each were charged in Hennepin County District Court with felony kidnapping. Potential penalties are zero to 20 years in jail and/ or a $35,000 fine.

Suspects in the kidnapping are William Charles Graham, age 30, and Ronald Jermaine Jackson, age 29, both from the Twin Cities area.

“I am asking that you please respect the privacy of the victim and his family,” Belland said at a Thursday press conference. “They have been traumatized, and I do not want to add more stress to them.”

He described the chain of events that began at 9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11. Medina Police responded to a call from the victim’s wife. She had heard a scuffle in the driveway and saw a red car drive off. She suspected that her husband had been abducted in their driveway as he returned from work.

Police located a red car in the area of Pioneer Trail and Highway 55. An officer saw two men standing outside the car, approached them and asked them to put their hands up. The police officer heard a pounding coming from the trunk of the car, and the suspects ran from the scene.  The victim was discovered in the trunk with his  hands  zip tied.

Belland said that the suspects apparently had followed the victim from a Verizon store in Minneapolis, where he is a manager. He believed that the suspects intended to take the keys to the store from the victim and then burglarize the store.

William Charles Graham and Ronald Jermaine Jackson are suspects in the kidnapping of a Loretto man.

William Charles Graham and Ronald Jermaine Jackson are suspects in the kidnapping of a Loretto man.

The victim spent 20 to 30 minutes in the trunk of the car, Belland estimated. Tracking the suspects, who were on foot, took over two hours. Medina Police called in West Hennepin Public Safety, Plymouth Police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol. A number of K-9 units and a State Patrol helicopter played a big role in the chase.

The suspects were arrested in a field south of County Road 50 east of County Road 19 and booked at Hennepin County Jail. Police are continuing to investigate the kidnapping.

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