News (USA)

Man arrested for kidnapping trans woman at gunpoint after sexual encounter

Man arrested for kidnapping trans woman at gunpoint after sexual encounter
The Saturn Motel in Miami Photo: Google Maps

Police in Miami arrested a man who has been charged with armed kidnapping and extortion after he held a trans woman at gunpoint following a motel sexual encounter gone wrong.

Joshua Debarge Lucas, a 34-year-old, said he became “upset” after learning the woman he had sex with was transgender. His words suggest “trans panic,” a defensive claim used by men who attack trans women and then blame the women’s trans identities for motivating the attack. Lucas was arrested in his home in Opa-Locka, Florida on Friday, WPLG reported.

The alleged kidnapping occurred at the Saturn Motel in Miami’s MiMo District on January 14.

Police say Lucas’ victim, a transgender woman who “suffers a speech impediment and other issues,” texted a friend to “call me” just before 5:45 p.m. the same evening.

The woman’s friend and another individual placed a FaceTime call to the victim and immediately saw her in tears, a police report read.

As they asked her what was wrong, Lucas appeared on the call and demanded $200, stating he would “hurt” the victim if they refused. He said the money was for “being disrespected” by the victim.

The friends told police they asked Lucas how he was being disrespected and he “stated that he is a (Black) Hebrew Israelite and his religion frowns upon homosexual interactions.”

Lucas recounted he and the victim were “high” during the sexual encounter, and he described her as “just a ret***ed (woman),” according to the report. After he sobered up, he realized his date was transgender.

According to the friends, an accomplice was on the call with Lucas and told them where to bring the money. One of the men held a gun.

The friends screen-recorded the call and drove to a Miami police station to report the incident. Police responded to the motel where they found the victim. Lucas and his accomplice had fled.

After identifying Lucas, authorities arrested him at his Opa-locka home Friday.

Police say Lucas admitted to being “upset” after the encounter, but claimed he’d asked for $20, not $200, to pay him back for an Uber ride.

Lucas also “denied holding the victim against their will; however, he stated that following the incident the (accomplice) told him how the incident was like a hostage situation,” the investigating officer wrote in the report.

Lucas was charged with kidnapping with a weapon and threats or extortion with prejudice. He is being held without bond in the Metro West Detention Center.

Authorities have yet to identify Lucas’ alleged accomplice.

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