BALTIMORE — An early morning trip to the bank for ransom money with a suspicious car tailing behind her, but the mother of a 27-year-old man being held by kidnappers had already notified police.
Officers questioned two people who then approached the woman at the Wells Fargo Bank on West North Avenue, and one of them, 28-year-old Alexis Brooks of Randallstown now faces a series of charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and attempted first degree murder.
According to charging documents, the victim had telephoned his mother and instructed her to pick up $1,000 in ransom money.
It is a brazen crime, but not one which comes as any big surprise to people, like Christopher Streeter, who are struggling to get by in West Baltimore.
“Maybe taking somebody to the ATM was a dumb decision, because you only can get $500 out of the ATM or $1,000 at the most, but people really need it and people are hungry out here so it's sad, but that's just what it is. It's Baltimore for you,” said Streeter.
We caught up with Streeter on Fairfax Road bordering Leakin Park where a security camera that same morning captured video of the victim running to a home in search of help after suffering a gunshot wound to the hand.
"The more you know, the more people are going to be at your neck,” said Streeter, “Know what I'm saying? No, I don't know nothing. You feel me? And it ain't got nothing to do with me.”
And that's the gist of what the victim told us today when we reached him by telephone.
He admits he suffered a gunshot wound to the hand, but is now casting doubt about any kidnapping, ransom demands or attempt on his life, and adds he's never even talked to police about it.
Whatever the case, Alexis Brooks now faces 17 separate charges in connection with the incident as much as he may wish it had never happened.
Whether someone actually kidnapped the victim or not, his mother certainly believed it when she followed the instructions to get money from the bank in nine separate phone calls from her son, and according to court documents, it was the victim who asked her not to get police involved as she tried to meet the kidnappers' demands.