third Suspect Arrested In Morgan Hill Handyman Kidnapping Case

MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) — A man was arrested Wednesday evening in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a handyman in unincorporated Santa Clara County from more than two weeks ago, a Santa Clara County sheriff’s sergeant said.

Richard Rodriguez Jr., 49, whose last known address was in Alameda, turned himself in to Alameda police around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

Alameda police will bring Rodriguez to the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office within the next week, Cardoza said.

Rodriguez had an outstanding warrant on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment for his suspected involvement in a Dec. 3 incident where a handyman was forced to do repair work to homes against his will, Cardoza said.

Cardoza said Rodriguez aided two Morgan Hill residents, Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, in forcing the 50-year-old repair man to work on the Morgan Hill suspects’ home in the 200 block of Caldwell Way.

On Dec. 3, San Jose police received a report of a kidnapping and assault at about 7 p.m. from the victim, who had managed to escape his captors at a San Jose gas station.

Police handed the investigation over to the sheriff’s office since the kidnapping occurred outside police jurisdiction, Cardoza said.

The victim told deputies he had initially performed handyman services for a relative of one of the suspects about two months ago, but was not paid in full for his work, resulting in a dispute for services rendered, Cardoza said.

The victim said the suspects lured him to their residence to do repair work just before 11 a.m., the sergeant said.

Upon arrival at the residence, the victim was assaulted, held against his will and threatened with his life for several hours, Cardoza said.

The victim was still at the residence on Caldwell Way at 5:30 p.m. when the suspects forced the victim into a truck.

The victim was told he would be made to finish the repair work that he began two months ago at the suspect’s relative’s house in Santa Clara.

On the way to the home, the suspects stopped at the Chevron gas station at the intersection of Santa Teresa Boulevard and Cottle Road in San Jose to purchase gas.

When the suspects exited the vehicle to purchase gas and food, the victim escaped on foot, disregarding a warning by the suspects to stay put, Cardoza said.

The victim ran to a nearby residence to report the incident, he said.

San Jose police responded to the area, located the DeJesus and Troedson near the gas station and arrested them on suspicion of false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and conspiracy.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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