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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Kidnapping suspect had been arrested in 2023 after harassment in The Villages

James Savage
James Savage’s booking mugshot in 2023.

A kidnapping suspect who barricaded himself in a home in The Villages on Friday had been arrested in 2023 after jealous harassment of a woman in the Village of Chatham.

James Savage, 54, was the subject of a manhunt on Friday after allegedly forcing a woman into a Mercedes in the Village of Monarch Grove. The woman was later found safe and Savage barricaded himself in a home on Belhaven Loop in the Village of Chatham, prompting a lengthy standoff with Marion County sheriff’s deputies. He finally surrendered Saturday morning.

Savage had been arrested last year after harassing a woman who lives on Belhaven Loop.

According to arrest documents from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Savage and the woman had been in a four-year romantic relationship.

The SWAT team brought in an armored personnel carrier
The SWAT team was in the Village of Chatham neighborhood where James Savage was holed up.

However, this past summer, Savage, who at the time listed an address in Hudson, became jealous and began harassing her. He repeatedly “screamed” into the Ring doorbell camera at her home and sent more than 200 text messages, many of them of a threatening nature. 

“I warned you and he will soon be dead,” Savage wrote in a July 9 text.

The man mentioned by Savage in the text was described in the arrest report as the woman’s “tenant/roommate.”

Savage also had an image of the woman in lingerie and he threatened to send the image to others.

It is not clear if the woman being threatened was the same woman he allegedly kidnapped.

The prosecutor’s office announced in August it would not be pursuing the case after the woman became uncooperative.

“Although there was probable cause for the arrest, based on the victim being uncooperative and the underlying facts and circumstances in the case, the likelihood of conviction at a jury trial is remote. Victim has received an injunction against the Defendant and no longer desires prosecution,” State Attorney William Gladson said in the announcement of no information.

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