Vinson Jerome Rattray Jr., 32, appeared in court Tuesday, a day after authorities said he kidnapped a woman at gunpoint and held her captive in an apartment. His sister, Octavia Rattray, said what he is accused of doing is completely out of character for him. Dawn Smith, who saw Vinson Rattray and Latonya Peak together on Tuesday, also spoke about the case.
Latonya Peak, 28, said that when she returned to her workplace at a health clinic at midday Monday, “she was kidnapped at gunpoint by a masked man who told her that he was going (to) kill her,” a BSO complaint affidavit released Tuesday said.
But his mask fell off in the parking lot, revealing him to be Vinson Jerome Rattray Jr., 32, a patient at her medical facility, the affidavit said. Peak said that she met him over a year ago at the health clinic.
“The victim stated that she gave Rattray her cell phone number, but Rattray incessantly asked her to date him; to no avail,” the affidavit said. “The victim became emotionally distressed by Rattray’s persistence and the harassment that it caused her to change her cell phone number to avoid any contact with Rattray.”
The BSO said it was called about the incident at the Amadeo Trinchitella clinic – commonly referred to as the Deerfield Beach High School Health Center – at 916 SW 15th St. at 1:18 p.m. Peak’s coworker, who got away, said that the gunman covered his face with a bandanna and scully cap, but she recognized his voice as Rattray’s, according to the affidavit.
Rattray ordered Peak to run through all the red lights on their way to an apartment at 3331 Coral Hills Drive in Coral Springs, while holding her at gunpoint with a black handgun, the affidavit said.
“The victim stated the suspect ordered her to stay on the floor inside the living room and he held her against her will, all the time telling her that he was going to kill her, for being rejected,” it said.
The hostage situation ended peacefully at about 8:15 p.m. when the Coral Springs Police SWAT team “moved in and negotiated a safe surrender,” a BSO statement said. Police took Rattray into custody without incident and took him, Peak and the man who lives in the apartment to the police department for questioning, according to the BSO.
Peak “thanked law enforcement for finding her so quickly because she thought she was going to be murdered by Vinson Rattray Jr.,” the affidavit said.
Rattray's sister said what her brother is accused of doing is completely out of character for him.
"He'd do anything for anybody, so that's why it's such a shock to me that my brother did such a thing," Octavia Rattray said.
She also said her brother is not a stalker.
"He discussed certain things with me before when it comes to her, so it was mutual," she said.
Investigators recovered the gun Vinson Rattray used in the canal behind the apartment, the BSO said.
Neighbors said the man who rents the apartment is a friend of Rattray's and didn't suspect anything was wrong. Dawn Smith saw the two together and thought the same thing – everything seemed normal.
"Mom had gone outside and saw them sitting out there talking and she wasn't trying to run or anything," Smith said.
After being read his Miranda rights, Rattray refused to discuss the kidnapping, before he invoked his right to remain silent, according to the affidavit.
He faces charges of kidnapping, using or displaying a firearm during a felony, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted Florida felon, wearing a mask during a felony and aggravated stalking, the affidavit said.
Broward Circuit Judge John Hurley ordered Rattray held without bond in court Tuesday afternoon, and ordered him to have no contact with Peak.
Rattray has lived in South Florida his entire life, a public defender said.
“He’s currently unemployed, without funds. The bond would be placed, if a bond were placed, by his mother," he told Hurley.