HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A homeless man kidnapped, robbed, and left a man who was trying to help him tied up in a Gulfport hotel room, according to the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Troy Peterson said 45-year-old Ernest Eugene Leffew was arrested Monday and charged with kidnapping and armed robbery. Leffew remains behind bars at the Harrison County jail without bond for violating probation for previous shoplifting and embezzlement charges.
Peterson said the victim reported the robbery and kidnapping Monday after he was able to escape the hotel room where he was tied up.
According to investigators, it all started earlier in the day when Leffew asked the victim for a ride. When Leffew got into the vehicle, he reportedly took the man's wallet at knifepoint and forced him to drive to several ATMs to withdraw money.
Peterson said Leffew then forced the man to drive to the Legacy Inn on Canal Rd. in Gulfport, and that's where Leffew tied the man up in a room and took his vehicle.
The victim reported he struggled for hours to untie himself, and he was eventually able to break free and call for help.
Peterson said investigators were able to identify Leffew as the suspect after speaking with a witness. Leffew was arrested at a homeless camp near Crossroads Mall.