Several Bridgeport, Ala., sporting goods store employees didn't know what to do when a man barged inside Tuesday, jumped a counter and tried to grab a bow and arrow from a display case, yelling "Call 911!"
By the time Big Daddy's Outdoors owner Wilson "Boo" Loyd reached the front of his store, the shaking, terrified man was on the phone to police dispatchers.
When Loyd tried to kick him out of the store, the man panicked and begged not to be forced outside.
"He was scared to death," Lloyd said.
The 32-year-old man -- whom police have not identified for his protection -- had been kidnapped and held captive for about 24 hours before he convinced his captors to stop and let him use the bathroom, authorities said.
Rocky Harnen, chief deputy in the Jackson County, Ala., Sheriff's Office, said the kidnappers let the man out at Big Daddy's on U.S. Highway 72 near the Tennessee state line. They told him not to talk to anyone, but didn't follow him inside, Harnen said.
Once in the store, the victim caused a scene and spooked his captors, Harnen said.
"They decided to leave since he started such a ruckus," he said.
Marion County, Tenn., authorities captured Jose Jesus Loeza-Gonzalez, 33; Juan Francisco Jaurez-Silva, 38; and Jose Salgado-Arellano, 38, just across the state line, Harnen said. After the men were arrested, they agreed to return to Bridgeport for questioning, he said.
All three men are from the Atlanta area. They are charged with first-degree kidnapping, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a hold on them, and they likely will be deported, Harnen said.
Authorities believe the kidnapped man first was held at gunpoint on Monday while he was at an Atlanta restaurant. He then was held in an apartment until he was driven to Alabama, according to authorities.
Police believe the three men were forcing the victim to lead them to someone else, but authorities haven't been able to identify another person, Harnen said.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...