STARKVILLE — A Starkville man who police say has been going door-to-door in the middle of the night and begging for money with a “sob story” about a sick daughter is now being held on charges of robbery and kidnapping.
The charges against 32-year-old Develle Henderson stem from an incident Saturday night, during which he knocked on the door of a man and his fiancée and demanded $20, Starkville Police Department Sgt. Chadd Garnett said. Henderson kept his hand in his coat pocket during the encounter, which frightened the victim, Garnett said.
“With the bulge in his pocket, the victim felt like it was more than his hand in his pocket,” Garnett said. “The victim thought it was a weapon. The suspect then demanded $20 and the victim was in fear, so he gave him the $20 so he would leave.”
Henderson then “forced” the victim to the victim”s vehicle while keeping his hand in his pocket as if he had a weapon, Garnett said, and made the victim drive him to an unknown apartment complex on the north side of town. The victim and his fiancée didn”t report the incident to police until Monday out of fear for their safety.
Henderson was denied bond Monday night in Municipal Court on the robbery and kidnapping charges.
Henderson already was facing two counts of uttering forgery and one count of forgery, but had been released on $30,000 bond. He had been knocking on doors with a “sob story” about needing money to buy an inhaler for his asthmatic daughter, Garnett said.
“He was telling everybody she”s got asthma,” Garnett said. “She don”t.”
The forgery charges stem from an Oct. 21 incident, during which Henderson was knocking on doors and convinced someone to drive him to an automatic teller machine. When the victim got out of the vehicle to withdraw money from the ATM, Henderson stole a check from the victim”s checkbook, Garnett said. Henderson passed it as an electronic check, Garnett said, then went to another store and signed the check and cashed it.
Police also have evidence of another forgery of an electronic check, Garnett said.
Police received “multiple calls” about Henderson knocking on doors in the middle of the night, Garnett said. He is urging anyone who gave Henderson money under false pretense to contact Starkville police at 662-323-4131.
“If anybody feels like they”ve been victimized (by Henderson), I”d be glad to charge him with that, too,” Garnett said.