A Columbus man who allegedly held another man at gunpoint and forced him to sign over the title to his vehicle has been indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on three felony charges.
James Ragland III, 29, is facing a first-degree felony count of kidnapping, a second-degree felony count of robbery, and a third-degree felony count of abduction.
On Oct. 5, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office, located on East Street in Washington C.H., after a staff member reported that a subject came into the office and reported that a man was being held against his will at gunpoint by another unknown man.
According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, the subject further reported to BMV staff that the two males were at the BMV office earlier and the victim identified in the incident was forced to sign over title to his motor vehicle to the suspect — later identified as Ragland III.
The subject reporting this information to the BMV staff departed prior to the arrival of deputies, but was later located and interviewed.
“During the course of the investigation, the vehicle description and registration plate were identified, as was other information that led deputies to other identified locations throughout Fayette County in an attempt to locate the victim reportedly being held against their will,” said Stanforth.
Shortly before noon Oct. 5, a sheriff’s detective reported finding the victim’s vehicle at a residence in the 6000 block of White Oak Road in northeast Fayette County. Additional deputies and detectives responded and approached the home.
Upon approach, deputies saw a male subject fleeing the front of the home in their direction, according to Stanforth. He was later identified as the victim.
Deputies also saw a second male, identified as Ragland III, exit the front door of the home. Deputies ordered him to the ground, but Ragland fled to the back of the residence and closed the door to the home.
According to Stanforth, deputies moved the victim to safety and set up a perimeter around the residence. A short time later, Ragland reportedly tried to escape the home through a rear window and was taken into custody without further incident.
The home was secured by deputies, and search warrants were obtained and later executed on the residence and the vehicle. Articles of evidence were recovered from both, Stanforth said.
Ragland III is being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $251,000 bond.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.