Auburn lacrosse player accused of stealing truck, kidnapping woman, hitting 9 parked cars in Baton Rouge

Auburn lacrosse player accused of stealing truck, kidnapping woman, hitting 9 parked cars in Baton Rouge
Photo provided by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.

POSTED: Monday, September 23, 2013 - 2:18pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 9:14am

UPDATE: NBC33 News has learned that Zachary Burgess is a freshman lacrosse player at Auburn University.


ORIGINAL: One Auburn fan who visited Baton Rouge never got the chance to see the big match-up. That’s because he was behind bars after he allegedly stole a truck, kidnapped a woman, and hit several parked cars.

According to the arrest report, the incident happened on Saturday, Sept. 21 shortly before 2:30 a.m. Officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department were called to the Tigerland-area in response to a stolen vehicle and erratic driver. 

“We responded to numerous reports of hit-and-runs in the parking lot of a local bar,” Cpl. Don Coppola, Baton Rouge Police Department, said. “The vehicle was found abandoned a few yards away from the scene and a group of witnesses were holding the suspect at the location when officers arrived.” 

Witnesses say the owner of the truck pulled up in the parking lot of the bar and got out of the vehicle. He left the truck running and a female passenger was sitting in a truck alone. Then, the suspect, Zachary Burgess, 20, of Hoover, Alabama, got in and tried to steal the vehicle.

“When he tried to flee the parking lot there were several cars blocking the way,” Cpl. Coppola said. “He began ramming into the parked cars.” 

The female in the vehicle was reportedly being held in the truck against will. She claims that Burgess “forcibly” held her captive in the truck.

“The passenger was able to jump out of the vehicle and get to safety,” Cpl. Coppola said.

Burgess allegedly struck a total of nine vehicles.

“He fled the scene of the accidents with no signs of him intending to return the truck to the rightful owner,” the report noted.

During questioning Burgess allegedly told an officer that he “wanted to see what it was really like to play the video game Grand Theft Auto.”

Burgess was arrested and charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Hit-and-Run (9 counts), and Simple Kidnapping. His bond was set at $80,000. He was released on Sunday, Sept. 22 after posting bond.

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Be careful in judging. This is a family that I have known and they are solid good people. This is a kid that has never gotten into trouble for anything. Good kids sometimes make bad choices and the results can be devastating. It only takes one bad decision to ruin your life. Just one. The lesson for young people may be, rather than making light of the situation and criticizing, perhaps we should be praying for this young man and his family.

One more comment........ I heard the interview of the young woman this morning on the news and she NEVER said anything about being "forcibly" held. She stated that, "he was zoned out". I actually taped it and the word "forcibly" was never used. There are two sides to every story and some times three. Again, Praise God no one was killed. Instead of judging, pray for all involved, including this young man and his family.

Get ALL the facts before we make judgements.Yes,he definitely did wrong and must be held accountable.Thank God,no one was hurt.I do not know Zachary, but my daughter does,she always spoke very highly of him. I do understand that he is a very smart and kind young man and attends church regularly. I also have been told that he was influenced by alcohol, this still does not make it right. BUT,he did not do what he did in his right mind and he is very saddened by what happened.The media needs facts.

I am sitting in class right now at Auburn and this dude beside me told me to look this article up... Turns out this dude is sitting in my freaking class right now... literally like 15 feet away... wooooooow

Leatseafood be careful and might better leave before he rams you with a desk or something...He's from Hoover...over the mountain in Birmingham...there are wealth and rich people that lives over there...his parents probably are rich and this incident probably didn't even phase him...sad...he could've been killed or killed someone...trying to perform a video game in real life...

No fans from the state of Alabama should go down to Louisiana....They should call it Trouble

Yes because video games do not promote violence. ........... :/

Just take one look at the size of his pupils and you can see this was a drug related incident and not solely video game related. Yes his idea was inspired by the game but all sick minds covet what they see. If they want to do something bad they will find a way and something to blame it on. Seems to me he has set himself up for an insanity pleas and really he should be sent to rehab. Lucky no one got hurt.

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