Two suspects in the kidnapping of Javier Velasco, 37, of Loretto, each were charged with felony kidnapping in Hennepin County District Court on Friday, Sept. 13.
Suspects in the kidnapping are William Charles Graham, 30, and Ronald Jermaine Jackson, 29, both from the Twin Cities area. Bail for each suspect was set at $500,000. Potential penalties are up to 20 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine.
Velasco was kidnapped at gunpoint at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the driveway of his home in the 100 block of Chippewa Road. He was traumatized, but not injured after being locked in the trunk of a car for 20 to 30 minutes, according to Medina Police.
“I am asking that you please respect the privacy of the victim and his family,” said Medina Police Chief Ed Belland at a Thursday press conference. “They have been traumatized, and I do not want to add more stress to them.”
Medina Police responded to a suspicious activity call at about 9:21 p.m., according to complaints filed in Hennepin County District Court. They met the wife of the kidnapping victim.
She told police that her husband had arrived home at about 9:15 p.m. but did not come inside, the complaints said. She saw a red car in the neighbor’s driveway and there was some commotion. She heard the trunk of the car slam shut and the sound of the car taking off driving east bound on Chippewa Road.
At about 9:48 p.m., police located a red Dodge Charger parked on Pioneer Trail north of Highway 55 — in close proximity to the victim’s home, according to the complaints. Officers found two men outside of the car and told them twice to put up their hands. The men complied after the second command, but then a pounding sound came from the trunk of the car. The two suspects fled on foot. Officers found the victim in the car’s trunk and recovered a black BB gun from a ditch to the rear of the car.
The victim told police that he had returned from work at a Verizon store and saw a red car pull very fast into his neighbor’s driveway, the complaints said. One of the suspects was wearing a white surgical mask and holding a black gun in his hand. He ordered the victim to get out of his car and then tied his hands behind his back with a zip tie. Both suspects pushed the victim into the trunk of the red car and drove away.
The victim said that during the ride, the suspects asked him about the location of money and property in the Verizon store where he worked, the complaints continued. He thought the store keys were in his car. The suspects’ car stopped at one time, and the suspects searched the victims’ pants and took his car keys. The suspects asked the victim if he loved his family. When the car stopped again, the victim heard police outside.
Police officers obtained a warrant to search the red car and discovered a surgical mask, latex gloves, a roll of duct tape, zip ties and other items, according to the complaints.
Law enforcement personnel tracked the suspects, who were on foot, after they fled from their car, Medina Police Chief Belland said. The chase took more than 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.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at email@example.com