The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Police respond to domestic violence-related kidnapping on campus

March 6, 2018

Pictured+is+Officer+Melisa+Quintal+of+Nicholls+State+University+Police+Department.
Pictured is Officer Melisa Quintal of Nicholls State University Police Department.

Pictured is Officer Melisa Quintal of Nicholls State University Police Department.

Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Pictured is Officer Melisa Quintal of Nicholls State University Police Department.

Nicholls Police responded to an on-campus kidnapping and arrested the suspect last Wednesday, Feb. 28.

According to the police report, the victim was getting out of her car near the Brady Apartment Complex when her ex-boyfriend approached her vehicle and began arguing with her.

The argument led to him shoving her into the passenger seat and claiming the driver’s seat before driving away with her.

Nicholls Police Chief Craig Jaccuzzo said the suspect drove around Thibodaux for five hours pleading with his former girlfriend to continue their two-year relationship that ended about a month ago. However, she denied his requests, and he struck her several times.

“When she does not respond in the manner he thinks is appropriate or what he wants to hear, he then strikes her. He hit her several times in the car and several times when she’s trying to get out of the car,” Jaccuzzo said.

“Scared for her life, the victim attempted to exit the vehicle at stop lights and even tried to escape when the car was in motion,” Jaccuzzo said.

Eventually, the aggressor came to his senses and brought the victim back to campus. In respect for the victim’s privacy, her name will not be released.

Once the victim returned, she reported her ex-boyfriend to the Nicholls Police Department, who took immediate action.

Jaccuzzo said the Nicholls Police tended to her health and mental status before taking her statement and conducting a proper interview.

They identified the suspect as Daijuan Stewart, 23, of Baldwin, La.

The Nicholls Police then obtained a warrant for his arrest from the city judge and located his apartment.

After calling Thibodaux Police as backup, the Nicholls Police arrived at the suspect’s home to arrest him.

Jaccuzzo said, “The suspect was arrested for a simple kidnapping and aggravated battery. That individual was booked at the Lafourche Parish jail where he was issued a $25,000 bond for the aggravated battery, and he was issued a $25,000 bond for the simple kidnapping,” Jaccuzzo said.

“[A] kidnapping charge means he forcefully took an individual without their consent and restricted their freedom of movement to leave at any given time,” Jaccuzzo said. “Aggravated battery occurred when he slammed the door on her leg as she was trying to leave the car.”

Jaccuzzo said the individual received a trespassing warrant, which bans him from campus. Stewart is also suspended from his classes until further notice.

The victim will receive notification when Stewart is released from jail and goes to court.

She was also offered support from university resources like the university health center and the counseling center.

Jaccuzzo said the suspect showed signs of aggression before the incident occurred and the issue “gradually escalated.”

“From chronic phone calls, showing up at places where he’s not to be trying to make contact with her, going to her apartment, being at the apartment unannounced, trying to sneak in to her apartment to engage in conversation she doesn’t want. Those kind of things where he became a stalker. The individual lost grasp of what is legal and right and then start infringing on her benefits and her rights of freedom of movement,” Jaccuzzo said.

Jaccuzzo said that students should watch for signs that might indicate violent partners.

“Individuals who look at people not as their lover but as their possession is the first stage that this person will not take it well if the relationship ends,” Jaccuzzo said.

He also said to be aware of those that are controlling, need to be in contact with you at all times and have to give their approval on your clothing and whereabouts.

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