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Woman back home after being bound, gagged
By SARAH MISHKIN
Published July 14, 2007
TAMPA - The victim of an apparent kidnapping attempt was back home in Panama City on Friday, a day after an alert driver saw her bound and gagged in the back of a Chevy Blazer and called 911.
The victim, identified by police as 35-year-old Lisa A. Baker, drove home Friday from Tampa, said her boyfriend, Mahlon Foreman.
On Thursday afternoon, Florida Highway Patrol troopers rescued her from the back of a Chevy Blazer, where she was bleeding from the forehead, with her mouth and hands bound with duct tape.
FHP troopers arrested the driver, Marcus Young, 54, of Tampa, on kidnapping and assault charges.
Baker was hospitalized and treated for cuts and bruises.
Foreman said initial police reports were wrong in reporting that Baker knew Young. The two had met only on Thursday morning, he said.
Although the time line of Thursday's incident remains under investigation, Larry Coggins, a spokesman for the FHP, said Young apparently encountered Baker on the street in Ybor City and took her to his home in Sulphur Springs. There, Coggins said, they got into a fight, and he bound her with duct tape and put her into his SUV.
Young was being held without bail at the Orient Road Jail. He is charged with kidnapping, battery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Foreman said Baker is still shaken up.
"She's really trying to get her head together," he said.
Baker's mother, Diane Bradley, 54, of Hartford, Ala., said her daughter works as a waitress in Panama City. She said that although her daughter has struggled at points in her life, Baker regularly sends home money to support two 15-year-old daughters who live in Hartford.
Bradley said one of Baker's daughters uses a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.
"She's always worked in Panama City to support them, but other than that she just has a life of her own," Bradley said. "I never thought nothing like this would ever happen to my baby."
In an interview with WFLA-Ch. 8, the driver who saw Baker in the Blazer and called 911 - identified as Chris Erigo-Backsman - said Baker was lying in the SUV's storage space, her eyes bulging, looking terrified.
"I was hoping that I wouldn't read in the paper something a couple of days later - someone was found murdered or something," Erigo-Backsman said. "I'm just glad it turned out well."