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Sheriff’s investigators have identified a third suspect in connection with the kidnapping and assault of a handyman who was forced to do repair work in unincorporated Santa Clara County earlier this month, a sheriff’s sergeant said. The sheriff’s office has obtained an arrest warrant for 49-year-old Richard Rodriguez Jr., Santa Clara County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. He is believed to have ties to the two Morgan Hill residents, Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, who were arrested shortly after they allegedly forced a repairman to perform services on their residence in the 200 block of Caldwell Way in unincorporated Morgan Hill, Cardoza said. On Dec. 3, San Jose police received a report of a kidnapping and assault at about 7 p.m. from the 50-year-old male 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 his 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 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 suspects near the gas station and took them into custody. DeJesus and Troedson were arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and conspiracy. Rodriguez is wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment against the victim, Cardoza said. “Unfortunately, there is no solid information of his whereabouts right now,” Cardoza said.
Rodriguez’s last known address was in Alameda, but he has lived in several cities throughout Alameda County over the past number of years, Cardoza said. Cardoza said that because Rodriguez hasn’t had a steady place of residence, the sheriff’s deputies “really need the public’s help” to track him down. Rodriguez is described as a 5-foot-8-inch Hispanic man with multiple tattoos on his arms. At the time of the incident, he had a mustache.
Anyone with information on Rodriguez’s whereabouts is asked to call (408) 808-4500 or anonymously at (408) 808-4431.
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