Student charged with kidnapping, domestic abuse


Susan Broadbridge

Southern Miss. Chief of Police, Bob Hopkins addresses the student arrest in domestic abuse case at the University Police Department on campus Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. -Susan Broadbridge/Printz

Southern Miss. Chief of Police, Bob Hopkins, addresses the student arrest in domestic abuse case at the University Police Department on campus Wednesday, Jan. 21. -Susan Broadbridge/Printz

On Tuesday evening, the University Police Department of The University of Southern Mississippi made an arrest in connection with a domestic abuse and kidnapping case.

Joseph King, 40, of Jackson was charged with domestic violence/simple assault and kidnapping and is currently booked in the Forrest County Jail. King was also a student at Southern Miss.

The arrest was made after the victim, also a USM student, came to UPD and claimed that King had held her captive in his apartment in the 300 block of 37th Avenue for several days and beat her. Upon showing the police physical evidence of the violence, the police were able to procure a warrant for the domestic abuse case and an arrest was made that night without incident.

King and the victim had been previously romantically involved for several years, and the victim said that King had previously shown interest in being friends. He invited the victim to an event in Hattiesburg Jan. 11 and picked her up under the guise of attending the event. However, King was said to have kidnapped the girl and held her for several days against her will, only releasing her after the victim pleaded with him.

UPD Chief of Police Bob Hopkins stated in a press release Wednesday afternoon that the victim was able to convince King to release her. “She was eventually able to talk him into releasing her, but that did come with some (conditions) and threats to her, which delayed her a couple of hours (before coming) to us.”

The victim instead relied on others to reach the police, where she was able to give a full report of the entire event.

Hopkins speculated that her past relationship with King may have aided in her release.

“I think her being able to talk to him and knowing what some of his weaknesses are, what she would be able to talk him into under certain circumstances, played well for her,” he said.

King is currently undergoing his initial trial at Forrest County Jail.

“We encourage members of our campus community who believe they are a victim of domestic abuse or are in a domestic abuse situation and need assistance to call us,” UPD Capt. Rusty Keyes said in the press release. “The University and the University Police Department have resources that can help you.”