Four people are accused of kidnapping and robbing a La Crosse man Wednesday night in an attempt to settle a debt.
According to police reports, the 22-year-old victim was walking with a friend on Jackson Street when a man ordered him into the back seat of an SUV, telling him if he didn’t comply “we’re going to have problems.”
The victim said his captors asked where he lived, locked the doors and punched him when he tried to escape.
They then drove to his Rose Street apartment, where one of the men took a bluetooth speaker, a pair of headphones and a bicycle.
Police found the vehicle, identified by a Lyft sticker, at the Taco John’s on Monitor Street, where they arrested the driver, 43-year-old James C. Wilson, and passengers Dariyah Engram, 20, and Crystal McDaniel, 43. Inside the car they found an Airsoft pellet gun, a JBL speaker and 7.6 grams of methamphetamine.
Engram told police he coerced the victim into the car and admitted punching him in the nose, according to the reports.
Investigators determined that the kidnapping was orchestrated by 18-year-old Alexis Oja, who exchanged Facebook messages with Wilson on Sunday in which Wilson said he was owed $150 “for my bike and speaker.”
On Wednesday she messaged him again complaining that her friend had stolen her drugs and offered to set him up in exchange for a discount on more.
“He thinks I’m his friend,” she wrote. “I can even tell him I want to go on a walk and bring him and then you can (expletive) him up.”
According to police reports, Oja and Wilson continued communicating throughout the night.
“You didn’t tell him I gave him up, did you?” she asked.
“Nope,” Wilson replied. “Do it again next time, get an ounce out of him.”
Police arrested the four suspects, who are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to face charges of kidnapping and robbery.
Engram, McDaniel and Wilson remained in jail Friday on cash bonds of $500 to $10,000.
Oja, who has no prior criminal history, was released on a signature bond.