Maryland Live! Casino Visitor Kidnapped and Held for Ransom; Suspect Arrested

kidnapping of a Maryland Live! Casino visitor
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Maryland Live! Casino Visitor Kidnapped and Held for Ransom; Suspect Arrested

In a shocking incident, a 39-year-old man was arrested last week for the kidnapping of a gambler at Maryland’s Live! Casino & Hotel. Darron Torrence Finley, Jr., of Pikesville, Maryland, faces charges of kidnapping and second-degree assault related to the January incident.

The victim, Joel Edwards, 62, of Reisterstown, Maryland, had spent the evening gambling at the Hanover casino. He returned home in his truck, only to be followed by two suspects driving a stolen Honda Odyssey minivan.

The Kidnapping Incident

The suspects, who had tracked Edwards from the casino, attacked him outside his residence, brutally beating him before forcing him into their vehicle. Edwards’ wife witnessed the horrifying event.

“He started yelling and screaming for me, so I ran outside, but I couldn’t do too much,” Edwards’ wife recounted to WMAR, a local TV station. “I didn’t have any shoes on. I didn’t have anything on, and he was yelling for me and he was yelling for them to get off of him.”

Once the suspects had Edwards in their vehicle, they placed a bag over his head to blindfold him and took him to a secondary location where they restrained him to a chair using zip ties, according to police reports.

Demanding a Ransom

Later, Edwards’ wife received a ransom demand for $25,000. She was instructed to take the cash to Old Court Metro Station in Pikesville, then redirected to Winand Elementary School.

“After she arrived at Winand Elementary School, the kidnappers called her again and told her to drop the money at the dead end of Lucerne [Road] near Tevis [Circle],” the court documents detailed. She followed the instructions, tossing the ransom out of her car window.

Edwards was eventually found walking near I-83, according to the Baltimore County Police Department. The suspects hesitated to retrieve the ransom money immediately, fearing police surveillance.

Arrest and Continuing Investigation

Darron Torrence Finley, Jr. was arrested last Wednesday and remained in custody with no bail set. Authorities are still searching for the other suspects involved in the kidnapping. The investigation revealed that the suspects had used GPS technology to follow Edwards home from the casino.

Finley is already scheduled to go on trial in August for a similar crime that occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, indicating a pattern of such criminal behavior.

Victim’s Safety Concerns

Contacted by WBFF, Edwards expressed ongoing fears for his safety, worrying that other criminals might attempt to “finish the job.”

“Big gangs aren’t on street corners anymore; they’re in the casinos. I have come across many big-time drug dealers at the casinos gambling too,” Edwards said to WBFF.

The amount Edwards may have won at the casino, prompting the suspects to target him, has not been disclosed.

Conclusion

This kidnapping incident underscores the growing concerns over security for casino patrons. While casinos like Maryland Live! offer entertainment and potential winnings, they also attract unwanted criminal attention. This case highlights the importance of vigilance and robust security measures to protect patrons both within and beyond the casino premises.