AUSTIN (KXAN) — A transgender woman says she was kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint after meeting a man she was communicating with on a social networking site.
Raymond Lee Deloach Jr., 26, faces a charge of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and an aggravated kidnapping charge, both first-degree felonies. An Austin Police Department spokesperson said Friday afternoon that detectives are questioning another person related to the incident.
The victim in this case told police she met a man who went by “Jay” online and after exchanging messages, she decided to meet with him in person when she got off of work the next day.
“Jay” asked the victim to meet him at his apartment complex in the 10900 block of FM 620 — near Anderson Mill Road — on Thursday, according to an affidavit. He told her to park outside of the office.
Once the two were outside at around 3 p.m., “Jay” asked the victim if she really is transgender and after she reassured him that she is, he left and texted her that he would be back.
When he returned, he sat in the front seat of the car while a second suspect, later identified as 26-year-old Raymond Lee Deloach Jr., entered the back seat. The victim says Deloach told her he had a gun and instructed her to drive.
The victim said she was afraid she would be shot if she didn’t obey his orders due to past news stories about hate crimes against the transgender community.
And, citing recent murders nationwide of transgender men and women, the victim “felt like her freedom of movement was restricted by the threat of deadly force” and she thought they were going to kill her, the affidavit states.
The victim said the suspects instructed her where to drive to a specific location. Once there, they told her to walk toward the back of an abandoned complex, where Deloach allegedly struck her with a closed fist, knocking her backwards and causing her to fall to the ground, the affidavit states. The victim said Deloach tried to steal her purse and while she tried to hold onto it, he struck her with a closed fist again so she pleaded with him to let her keep her ID and car keys.
She said Deloach then grabbed a large wood log and held it over her head. Fearing for her life, she later told police she realized her belongings were replaceable but she wasn’t so she let go of her purse, the affidavit states.
The victim said she believes the suspects thought she would be less likely to report the incident to the police since she is transgender. But, after the suspects took off with her purse, the victim knocked on a couple of different doors in the neighborhood until someone answered and called the police for her.
The initial suspect, “Jay,” is identified as an 18- or 19-year-old black male, weighing about 220 pounds, with very short hair and glasses, the victim told police. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black pants.
Deloach’s criminal history includes previous arrests for robbery and aggravated robbery, including in 2014 when he allegedly robbed and beat a taxi driver.
Deloach’s total bond for Thursday’s incident is set at $150,000.