OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL)
UPDATE 7/12 — Opelika Police report that they now have Demarcus Marquis Dawson in custody for crimes connected to Monday’s assault and kidnapping caught on viral video.
After releasing the identity of a second suspect to media outlets this morning, OPD reports that Dawson is in custody at the Lee County Jail.
Dawson is facing charges of Kidnapping First Degree, Attempted Assault First Degree, and Attempting to Flee Law Enforcement.
ORIGINAL STORY: In an exclusive story from WKRG sister station, WRBL News 3 out of East Alabama, the man wanted by Opelika police for allegedly kidnapping a man, tying him up in a chair, and setting the ground underneath him on fire is now in police custody. Police say the suspect filmed part of the alleged crime and shared it on social media.
Wednesday afternoon the suspect, Kendrick Hill of Auburn, was captured by Opelika police with assistance from the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force.
We do need to warn you the video in this story, many may find disturbing.
Investigators say on Tuesday, July 9th, this disturbing video clip made the rounds on social media and was brought to the attention of the Opelika Police Department by several concerned citizens.
“You see a male victim tied to a plastic lawn chair that is also tied to a tree and a fire had been set underneath that chair,” explained Captain Shane Healey.
Police identified the suspect in the video as Kendrick Hill of Auburn. The video is laced with profanity, making it impossible for News 3 to share the audio. However, to paraphrase Hill claims he’s owed money and will go to jail over it.
“We were notified about the video right after it had been initially released on social media. One of our officers recognized the location the video had been shot in. They immediately went to that location and came across the victim and the suspect at that location. The victim was still tied to the chair, and the suspect fled on foot. The officers were able to untie the victim and get medical assistance to him,” said Captain Healey.
The victim had been physically assaulted but should recover. Police gave chase, but Hill was able to run away.
Wednesday, the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force partnered with Opelika detectives to track Hill down. Around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, Hill was located and taken into custody. Hill is facing Kidnapping First Degree, Attempted Assault First degree, and at Attempting to Elude charges.
Opelika police are crediting concerned citizens with preventing any more injuries to the victim.
“We appreciate all the citizens and all the tips that came in. If it weren’t for the public notifying us of this video, we would have not been able to get out to the victim so quickly, and we may have found him in even more unfortunate circumstances,” said Healey.
News 3 will continue to update you on this story as it develops.