PIQUA — Piqua police arrested a local man this week after the suspect reportedly assaulted a man in his 60’s, forced the victim into a car, and then held the victim against his will in a trailer on the 1700 block of South Main Street in Piqua.
Eric D. Root, 39, of Piqua, was charged with first-degree felony kidnapping, second-degree felonious assault, and third-degree felony abduction in connection with this incident.
Root and his girlfriend were reportedly living with the victim, an adult male subject in his 60’s, at the time of the incident. According to Miami County Municipal Court records, a third party reported the victim had come to the area of the 1100 block of South Main Street in Piqua on Tuesday morning at approximately 9:30 a.m. and said he was being held against his will at his residence. They were on the way to the Piqua Police Department to report this when the suspect, Root, arrived, driving the victim’s vehicle. Root then struck the victim “in the head area and dragged him into the passenger seat of the car and drove away,” according to court records.
Miami County Sheriff’s deputies located the victim’s vehicle on the 6800 block of Troy Sidney Road, and it was unoccupied. A witness reported a female subject had been driving the vehicle by herself and took off walking after she ran out of fuel. Root’s reported girlfriend, who has not been charged in connection with this incident, was located a few minutes later and picked up on a warrant.
Police then responded to the trailer on the 1700 block of South Main Street where the suspect and the victim were reportedly living in, and police made the decision to force entry into the residence to check on the victim’s welfare. Root was found on the other side of the door holding it shut, according to reports. The victim was also found lying in the rear hallway of the trailer thanking police “for forcing entry to save him from Eric (Root),” court reports stated.
It was also reported that Root had threatened the victim’s life several times, “telling him to be quiet or else,” reports stated. After obtaining a search warrant to search the residence, police also recovered a sock that Root allegedly put in the victim’s mouth and also a belt Root had allegedly tied around the victim.
A Piqua medic responded to the scene, and the victim was transported to the Upper Valley Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. His injuries, which police later described as “life-threatening,” included a broken scapula, a broken nose, and an internal bleed inside of his head. The victim was later transported to Miami Valley Hospital.
After an investigation, it was reported that Root and his girlfriend moved in with the victim after the victim was looking for roommates to help him with daily needs around the house due to the victim being “in poor health.” Two days prior to the incident on Tuesday, Root reportedly took the victim’s “house keys, car keys, phone away from him” in order to allegedly “keep the him (the victim) at the house.” The victim was able to sneak out on Tuesday. The victim’s cell phone and debit card were reportedly in Root’s possession after Tuesday’s incident.
Root is continuing to be held in the Miami County Jail on a total bond of $200,000. A preliminary hearing for Root is scheduled for Aug. 21.
Reach Sam Wildow at email@example.com.