May 8, 2020

2 more charged in torture of Utah pair forced to drink gas, police say

2 more charged in torture of Utah pair forced to drink gas, police say


SALT LAKE CITY — Two more people have been charged in connection with the kidnapping and torture of a homeless couple who police say were forced to drink gasoline.

Malcom Renee Baker, 29, of Magna, and Jaleel Alexander Scott, 23, of Salt Lake City, were each charged Friday in 3rd District Court with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and aggravated assault, a third-degree felony. Baker is also charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.

The charges bring the total number of people accused in the March 10 incident to four. On March 20, Tymel Devonne Hicks, 27, of Salt Lake City, and Tausaafia Kayla Fitisemanu, 25, of South Salt Lake, were also charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery, and aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

South Salt Lake police were called to the area of 3850 S. 550 West on March 10 after a 29-year-old woman ran to a resident’s door and banged on it while saying “people were trying to kill her,” according to charging documents.

Officers who talked to the woman “immediately noticed a strong odor of gasoline coming from (the woman)” and her face “was severely bruised,” the charges state.

The woman told police she was with a 33-year-old male friend in a nearby apartment when they were accused them of stealing a gun. She said others in the apartment began to torture them, according to the charges.

Hicks, Fitisemanu and two children live in the apartment.

The woman said Hicks hit both her and her friend with a shotgun with such force that the woman “believed Hicks was trying to knock her out,” the charges state. “Hicks hit (the woman) several times on the face, head and sides with the shotgun.”

The woman said she was also kicked, choked and had a knife held to her throat. She said the defendants pinched the two children to make them cry to drown out her own screaming, according to charging documents.

The man told investigators that he, too, was assaulted with the shotgun. About 30 to 45 minutes after the beatings had begun, police say three more men arrived at the apartment, including Baker and Scott.

The man said someone then bound his hands and the woman’s hands with duct tape before they were forced into a bathtub where gasoline was poured on them and they were ordered to drink the gas, according to the charges.

“He was only able to drink a couple of swallows before he spit it up,” investigators wrote in the chargese.

“Eventually, someone cut (the woman) free. (The man) heard another person in the apartment saying, ‘She’s running. She’s running!’” as the woman ran out of the apartment.

A pair of $200,000 warrants were issued Friday for the arrests of Baker and Scott.



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