By Amanda Klein | February 12, 2019
Police took Justice J. McCallum, 24, of Penn Hills and Derrick D. Duke, 25, of Swissvale into custody early Tuesday morning and charged them each with kidnapping, robbery of a motor vehicle, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, theft by extortion, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful restraint.
McCallum also faces charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police officers and reckless driving.
According to a criminal complaint, the woman was forcefully abducted from her home on Shaw Avenue shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday. Her son, who was home at the time called police and reported he heard his mother screaming, then observed his mother’s car speeding away.
The son received a call from one of the suspects demanding $40,000 and four pounds of marijuana in exchange for the safe release of his mother, according to the criminal complaint.
One of the suspects called him again 15 minutes later and demanded two guns in addition to the money and drugs, police said in the complaint.
Police with the assistance of the FBI were able to track the woman’s cell phone to a location in Pittsburgh. Authorities then began watching the location while the woman’s son spoke with the alleged kidnappers.
Police say the men video chatted with the son, showing him that his mother bound to a chair with her eyes covered, according the complaint said.
He told the men that he could bring $11,000 in exchange for his mother’s release. The alleged kidnappers told him to place the money in a garbage can outside a house on Kelly Street in Pittsburgh, the complaint said.
One of the suspects spotted a police vehicle after retrieving the cash from the garbage can, and led police on a high-speed chase. The chase ended a short time later, after the two men crashed into a city Department of Public Works truck, police said.
Authorities say the alleged kidnapping targeted someone in the Monroeville home and does not appear to be random.
Police continue to search for more suspects.
Both McCallum and Duke are being held at the Allegheny County Jail on a $500,000 straight bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 25.
Amanda Klein can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org