Deaf man claims he was victim of kidnapping, robbery

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Biloxi police officers converged on the main branch of Keesler Federal Credit Union shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, moments after receiving a call from a teller.  Officers learned that a man was inside the Pass Road building, but he wasn't there to make a simple transaction.

"The victim, George Batiste, stated that at some point this morning, he was abducted from his home by gunpoint by a male and a female," said Biloxi Police Sergeant Chris DeBack. "They had taken him and forced him into their car and driven him to the Keesler Federal Credit Union and told him to go inside and withdraw an undetermined amount of money."

Police say Batiste went in alone, while the two people he accused of kidnapping him waited in the parking lot.  Police say the three are acquaintances.

"He was positive and didn't appear shaken or anything like that. He was calm," said DeBack.

Police say Batiste is deaf, but he can talk.  He was able to express to the teller that he was being robbed.  Fortunately, an employee at the credit union knows sign language and was able to communicate with Batiste and relay that information to the officers.

"They were relatively close and able to put hands on the persons of interest quickly and to get to the victim," said DeBack.

Police said no one was hurt and a man and a woman were taken in for questioning.

"Great response of the tellers and quick response of patrols on the scene and ensure the safety of the public," said DeBack.

The two people they questioned were released, but the investigation continues.  No charges have been filed.  They are still looking at surveillance video, conducting interviews, and searching the car for clues.

Investigators say there are still a lot of unanswered questions and they are calling this case 'suspicious.'

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