Calumet City man accused of holding women hostage in Indiana hotel
By Erin Guerra Sun-Times Media November 19, 2012 2:32PM
Updated: November 19, 2012 6:22PM
PINES, Ind. -- A Calumet City man is accused of holding two Indiana women hostage over a 10-day period that ended with his arrest early Monday.
One of the victims, a 39-year-old Michigan City, Ind., woman with numerous bruises on her legs, back and arms, and an injury to her head, went to her ex-husband for help after escaping around 10 p.m. Sunday from a room at the BlackHawk motel, 3651 E. U.S. 12.
However, she then went back to the motel for the night, telling her ex she had nowhere else to go. She later told police she assumed James Skehan, 51, of Calumet City, Ill., would not return because he would be avoiding arrest.
She was wrong.
Around midnight, police converged on the motel and could see someone was inside the suspect’s room, but no one would answer. After about 35 minutes, the 39-year-old woman came outside, saying Skehan had been holding her down and threatening her with a knife but “finally passed out drunk.”
Police found Skehan, who allegedly gave a false name, on the bed with a folding knife directly under him.
He was arrested at about 12:05 a.m. Monday by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department for intimidation, criminal confinement and identity deception, all felony charges, and misdemeanor battery. Additional charges may be pending in LaPorte County, as the victim told police she also had been held at a trailer home in Michigan City.
Her ordeal started when she called a longtime female friend for a ride, and the friend’s boyfriend, Skehan, was with her.
He allegedly kept both of them at a mobile home, beating them and refusing to let them leave, until a neighbor called police. After officers left without seeing them, the woman said, Skehan moved the three of them to the motel, where they had been staying for about 10 days. He allowed the other woman to leave Saturday to buy beer, and she did not return.
During his arrest, police issued Skehan an order to keep him away from the victim. He reportedly refused to sign it and informed police he intended to continue contact with her, police said.