Jefferson Parish business owner accused of kidnapping, beating thief

JP Kidnapping and Hammer Attack

Bridge City, La. (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish deputies say a business owner is accused of kidnapping and beating a man he said stole from him.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto says the business owner should have let deputies handle the investigation.

37-year-old Chad Baxter is the owner of a bridge city auto shop.

Deputies say Baxter kidnapped and beat a man who stole tools from his shop in the 3400 block of River Road.

Baxter filed a police report on Nov. 30th accusing a man named Dorian Lewis of stealing from his business.

According to the report, Baxter checked his surveillance cameras and says he spotted the man he knew as Dorian stealing thousands of dollars of tools from the auto repair shop.

“We were able to get an arrest warrant for his arrest and were actively looking for him," Lopinto said.

But, deputies say Baxter found Lewis before they could.

“Six days later, the victim was able to locate the suspect and saw him at another business. It’s a person that’s known to him. He forced him into his vehicle and actually brought him back to the shop and ended up putting some punishment on him. I guess you could say,” Lopinto said.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto says Lewis told investigators Baxter forced him into a vehicle at gunpoint and took him back to the auto shop. Once there, investigators say Baxter beat lewis and hit both hands with a hammer.

“Our deputy happened to be passing through the neighborhood ended up seeing the suspect as they were coming out of the business and knew he was the person that was wanted for the other one,” Lopinto said.

Lopinto says Lewis was bloody and the deputy took him to the hospital where he needed surgery.

They say Lewis told them that Baxter retaliated against him for the burglary. Deputies arrested Baxter and booked him with second-degree battery and kidnapping. Lewis was also arrested for the burglary.

The original victim, yes actually has more severe charges than the original suspect does," Lopinto said.

Baxter bonded out of jail on a 75,000 bond.

Lewis remains in jail on a 10,000 dollar bond.

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