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Police and mother: Rock Hill heroin addict son kidnaps mom to pay $20 drug debt

Justin Peake
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Justin Peake

On the afternoon June 14, Betsey Peake, 64, had finished work. She was tired and waiting for her grown son, Justin, 34, to pick her up and take her home.

Instead, Betsey Peake said her son, who she says is a heroin addict, abducted her and held her hostage in a car. Justin Peake drove the streets of Rock Hill as his mother yelled, and begged, for help.

“He demanded $20 to pay off a drug debt and I wouldn’t give it to him,” Betsey Peake said Saturday. “He tormented me. I rolled down the window and screamed for help. I tried to get out and he dragged me back in.”

After about two hours her son gave up and took her home, she said.

“He said if I had just given him the money everything would have been fine,” Betsey Peake said. “But I had enough. No more money. He went through my whole paycheck with it. He would make me go to the ATM in the middle of the night. My life has been hell. It has to stop.”

She called Rock Hill police which launched an investigation. By Thursday, Justin Peake was found and charged with kidnapping, said Lt. Don Doster of the Rock Hill Police Department.

By Saturday morning Justin Peake was jailed at the York County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.

“He’s a heroin addict, and has been for 19 years,” Betsey Peake said of her son. “He’s sick. When he’s not drugging, and that is not often, he is good. But...”

Court records show Justin Peake was sentenced to prison in 2011 for assault, trespassing, and unlawful use of a car. He was also sentenced to probation. His mother said he was released on New Year’s Eve, 2012, and was finally drug-free.

“He lasted 10 days and went right back to that life,” Betsey Peake said.

Her son had been “in and out” of drug treatment, drug rehabilitation, and halfway houses for years since starting to use drugs as a young teenager, she said. The drugs caused him to lose good jobs, she said, as he spent all his money on drugs.

At least three times Betsey Peake has filed civil court papers to have her grown son evicted from her home. Monday, after the latest assault, she again filed eviction papers.

“I am 64 years old and I can’t afford to retire because of this,” she said. “It’s a shame we had to go this route. This is my son. But he is not going to get better out here. Maybe now he can get the help he needs.”

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065
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