BALDWIN, Fla. – Police are investigating the possible kidnapping of a man from a hotel in Baldwin on Friday morning and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office believes the man may be endangered.
Officers responding about 9:30 a.m. to U.S. 301 near the truck stop just off I-10 were told by witnesses that a man near the Red Roof Inn was approached by two other men, one of which was armed with a bat. The suspects were said to have struck the victim several times and then pulled him into a dark-colored Chevrolet Equinox that fled north on U.S. 301.
Damon Jameson is a former JSO officer who patrolled the Baldwin area. He says the area and the Red Roof Inn have dealt with suspicious incidents before.
“A lot of transient issues especially with the two truck stops here,” Jameson said.
Police are seeking further information about the incident and attempting to identify the victim to ascertain his safety, the potential suspects and the pictured vehicle.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said if you’re ever in a situation like the one described by investigators, the last thing you want to do is give up and go into the kidnapper’s car.
“If they threaten to kill you on spot call their bluff as opposed to getting in the car statistics show that if you get in the car if you’re abducted the chances of survival are minimal,” Jefferson said.
Jameson said to always be on the lookout for anything suspicious, especially in that area.
“It’s unfortunate you have to be aware of your surroundings even if you’re a bystander because you never know what could happen,” Jameson said.
Anyone having witnessed the incident or has any information that could with the investigation is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office immediately at 911 or 904-630-0500.