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Locust Grove police charge man in kidnapping

By Kathy Jefcoats

Locust Grove police arrested a local man, charging him with kidnapping and false imprisonment in what the chief says is a "bizarre" case involving an allegation of attempted forced marriage and violent threats.

Jerry Lamar Allen, 26, of 11 Ridgewood Lane, Locust Grove, will have to appear before a Henry County Superior Court judge to get a bond before he can be released from the Henry County Jail. Allen went before Henry County Magistrate Robert Godwin Friday morning but Godwin bound over the case to Superior Court.

Locust Grove Police Chief Jesse Patton said Friday that a woman who lives in Allen's neighborhood told officers a bizarre tale of being kidnapped at gunpoint and held against her will for seven days as Allen drove from Georgia into Tennessee and back again.

"He took her home to get clothes and held a gun to her head, saying he'd shoot her and her grandmother if she said anything," said Patton. "She went inside and her grandmother wouldn't let her go out."

Police were called Jan. 28 and Allen was arrested at his home without incident, Patton said.

"We surrounded his house and took him into custody," he said.

Patton said the woman, 20, filed a prior complaint against Allen.

"She filed a report of terroristic threats against him once," he said. "But they never dated and only just lived in the same subdivision, they weren't next-door neighbors."

Patton said the alleged incident began Jan. 15 when Allen forced the woman into his car at gunpoint. The woman told police he drove her into Chattanooga and back into Georgia where Allen reportedly robbed a man at gunpoint.

"We have not confirmed that," said Patton. "That's just what she told us."

Also, Allen reportedly made plans to force the woman to marry him.

"She told us he talked about taking her to Probate Court to get a marriage license," Godwin said, "to force her to marry him."

Patton said the gun has not been located. Officers continue to investigate the woman's allegations. She was not treated for any injuries, police said.

"Things like this don't happen very often in Locust Grove," said Patton. "It's just a bizarre case."