Lockhart man jailed for holding man against will

Published 1:22 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Lockhart man is behind bars after he allegedly held a passenger with whom he was in a relationship in his vehicle against his will.

The incident occurred around 9:28 a.m., July 10, when Florida Highway Patrol units received a call that a person was being held against his will in a vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 10 near the 54 mile marker in Okaloosa County.

The vehicle being driven was a red Chevrolet Cobalt with an Alabama License plate.

Police say the caller described the driver as Jeffrey Thrash, 33, of Lockhart.

The two occupants in the vehicle were arguing and the passenger asked to exit the vehicle. However, Thrash refused to let the passenger exit.

As this information was being distributed, the vehicle continued westbound into Santa Rosa County. Troopers were nearby and begin to BOLO for the vehicle.

The vehicle came to a stop at the 28 mile marker near the exit ramp from Interstate 10 in Santa Rosa County.

The passenger exited the vehicle and threw the ignition keys into the woods.

Troopers arrived on scene at 9:51 a.m., and located the vehicle stationary on the shoulder of the road with no one inside.

Troopers began searching the woods for the suspect and victim.

Shortly afterward, they were located together walking down the exit ramp toward Ward Basin Road.

Troopers made contact and immediately separated both parties and obtained their statements. The passenger was identified by his Alabama Driver’s license as Justin Barbee of Lockhart.

Upon interview, Mr. Justin Barbee told Troopers that he was being held against his will by Thrash, who would not allow him to exit the vehicle.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that the two parties lived together and that they were in a relationship.

Troopers began the investigation and based on the information given, sworn statement from the victim, and the 911 call, he placed Thrash under arrest for false imprisonment. Thrash was transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail without incident.