MORGAN HILL -- A months-old dispute over home appliance repair escalated into a kidnapping and assault incident and two arrests Monday, after a handyman escaped his abductors when they stopped for gas and snacks in San Jose.
Morgan Hill residents Jason DeJesus, 36, and Chanelle Troedson, 33, face charges of false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault, criminal threats and conspiracy.
The beef began about two months ago, when the 50-year-old victim did minor repairs at a Santa Clara home, said Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza.
"There was a dispute about services rendered," Cardoza said. "That in conjunction with him not being paid entirely."
Cardoza would not specify how much money was involved but he said "it wasn't much."
Relatives of the person who had hired the handyman contacted him on Monday morning requesting his services at a home on the 200 block of Caldwell Court in unincorporated Morgan Hill.
"The victim knew he was going somewhere associated with the previous person," Cardoza said. "But he had no clue there would be trouble. Nothing stuck out about what was to occur."
Within minutes after arriving, a man and a woman at the home attacked the handyman, Cardoza said.
"For the next few hours he's assaulted and had his life threatened numerous times," said Cardoza, who added that no weapons were used or seen. "He's also forced to do some minor repair work around the house."
Around 5:30 p.m., the victim was forced into his own truck and told they were going to the relative's Santa Clara home to finish the work he'd started two months prior.
The abductors stopped for fuel and food at a gas station near Santa Teresa Boulevard and Cottle Road in San Jose, telling the man "he better stay in the truck" as they went inside to pay.
"As soon as he had the opportunity, the victim escaped," Cardoza said.
He ran to a nearby residence and reported what had happened, and responding San Jose police quickly found the pair still in the area. They were apprehended and handed over to sheriff's deputies because the original crime happened in unincorporated Morgan Hill.
The victim's injuries were not life threatening, but Cardoza said "that's not to say having your life threatened, (and being) held against your will and physically assaulted is not serious."
"We don't know what the actual intent was," he said. "What was the ultimate plan once they got to the second location, what they were going to do."
He said that the handyman's escape may well have saved him from further harm.
"No type of services, or disagreement, should ever get to this point where it gets violent," he said.
DeJesus and Troedson remain in custody, with a court date together on Thursday.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.