UPDATE: Third suspect arrested in handyman kidnapping

Richard Rodriguez, Jr.

Richard Rodriguez, Jr., 49, surrendered to authorities less than 12 hours after the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office announced a $250,000 warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to a bizarre kidnapping incident that happened in Morgan Hill earlier this month. 

Rodriguez, an Alameda resident, turned himself in at the Alameda Police Department about 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza. 

Rodriguez was allegedly involved in a Dec. 3 kidnapping incident in which he helped kidnap a 50-year-old handyman and forced him to perform home repairs, police said. 

Arrested Dec. 3, just after the victim broke free from his captors and called police, were Jason DeJesus, 36 of Morgan Hill, and Chanelle Troedson, 33 of Morgan Hill, authorities said. 

The confrontation between the kidnappers and their victim originated a couple months earlier, when the victim, a home repair handyman, performed work at the home of a relative of one of the suspects, police said. The suspect’s relative only paid the victim for a portion of the work, resulting in a dispute over services rendered. 

On Dec. 3, sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Santa Teresa Boulevard and Cottle Road, after a call from San Jose Police who reported they had DeJesus and Troedson in custody, authorities said. 

The victim told investigators that earlier that morning, the suspects lured the victim to a home on the 200 block of Caldwell Court in north Morgan Hill, police said. The suspects wanted the victim to perform “repair work” on an appliance at the home for them. 

When the victim arrived, the suspects immediately assaulted him, held him against his will and repeatedly threatened to kill him for several hours, police said. They subsequently forced the man to conduct more repair work at the residence. 

At about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, the suspects forced the victim into his own truck, police said. The suspects entered the truck as well, and one of them drove as they told the victim they were going to the relative’s house in Santa Clara, which was the subject of the original dispute. 

The suspects told the victim they were going to force him to complete the work he started two months earlier at the Santa Clara home, police said. 

While en route to the suspect’s relative’s home, the suspects stopped for gas near Santa Teresa Boulevard and Cottle Road in San Jose, according to police. The suspects exited the truck to pay for gas and snacks. They told the victim to remain inside the vehicle. 

While the suspects were outside the vehicle, the victim managed to escape on foot, police said. He ran to a nearby residence to report the incident. 

San Jose police responded and found the two suspects in the area, Cardoza said. 

Deputies arrested DeJesus and Troedson, who remain in custody in Santa Clara County jail, according to authorities. 

They were arraigned Dec. 11, according to  Supervising Deputy District Attorney for South County Steve Lowney. They are charged with kidnapping during a carjacking, kidnapping to commit robbery, battery causing serious bodily injury, assault by force likely and false imprisonment. 

DeJesus and Troedson are next scheduled to appear at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill Jan. 4 for identification of counsel, Lowney said. 

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