Police arrested a California couple on Monday after they allegedly held a handyman hostage and forced him to do home repairs. Investigators said the 50-year-old victim was lured to a large Morgan Hill home. The sprawling 4,600 square foot home has five bedrooms and is equipped with a pool, a beach volleyball court, and a tennis court.
“He was assaulted, he was threatened with his life, and he was forced to do some work at the house,” said Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives said 36-year-old Jason DeJesus and 33-year-old Chanelle Troedson beat the handyman, threatened to kill him and forced him to fix several items in the house over a six-hour span. The repairs included a dishwasher and a broken door. “The victim was pretty terrified. He was pretty shaken up and scared by this whole incident,” Cardoza said.
“What he did tell investigators is that he was just trying to do what he was being told, wait for the opportunity to escape.” Authorities said the suspects forced the handyman into his truck. With one of the suspects driving, the victim was told they were traveling to a suspect’s relative’s house in Santa Clara to perform additional repairs. They pulled over at a gas station on Santa Teresa Blvd. and Cottle Road in South San Jose. The handyman escaped when the suspects left to pay for gas and snacks.
DeJesus and Troedson were arrested by police shortly after. Investigators said the handyman performed work for De Jesus’ mother two months ago. “The work wasn’t performed to the likes of the suspect’s relative at the time, and on top of that there was dispute over services rendered, the victim wasn’t paid entirely. That kind of boiled over into what occurred,” Cardoza said. DeJesus and Troedson face several felony charges including false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and conspiracy.