UPDATE: 37-year-old charged in early-morning home invasion, kidnapping

Bibb County deputies say the man involved in a home invasion on Bass Road this morning got a ride from a "good samaritan" after parking his car on Zebulon Road.

Sheriff Jerry Modena appealed for the motorist who gave 37-year-old Darius Leon Sullivan of Macon, a ride to come forward to speak to investigators by calling 746-9441.

"Everything will be kept confidential," Modena said in an afternoon news conference.

Sullivan, of Bob White Road, forced his way into the home of Frank Carl Amerson III, at 641 Bass Road, just before 8 a.m.

He threatened Janice Amerson and her 20-year-old stepson Chandler Amerson at gunpoint for about an hour, binding him to a chair with duct tape, before forcing the stepmother to drive to a bank to withdraw money just before 9 a.m.

Janice Amerson called 911 on the way to the Security Bank at 2918 Riverside Drive, located between Pizza Hut and CJ's Sports Bar & Grill.

Modena said deputies immediately were dispatched both to the bank and to the Amerson house.

At 9:40 a.m. Amerson left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, Modena said.

Five minutes later Chandler Amerson ran out of the house followed shortly by Sullivan.

Deputies told Chandler Amerson to run down the driveway, and he ran barefooted on the asphalt toward the road, where he hid between the parked patrol cars and gave a double thumbs up to a Telegraph reporter when asked if he was OK. Another deputy loaded him into his car and drove him to the church.

Sheriff's deputies blocked the Bass Road intersections with Forsyth Road and Rivoli Drive until about 10 a.m. while armed deputies searched the woods around the home.

Modena said deputies speculate Sullivan forced Amerson outside in an attempt to move him to another location in Amerson's car and later contact Janice Amerson with directions about where to drop the money.

Instead deputies took both Sullivan and Chandler Amerson into custody until they could identify Sullivan as the suspect.

Modena said Sullivan has been charged with criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, burglary, theft by extortion, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of making terroristic threats.

Although the home invasion remains under investigation, Capt. Mike Smallwood said it doesn't appear as though Sullivan knew the Amersons other than by their reputation.

"There were no connections whatsoever," he said, adding Sullivan worked as a forklift driver for Frito-Lay.

Modena said neither of the Amersons were physically injured in the attack.

Frank Amerson Jr. and his son Carl, both prominent local developers, live near each other on Bass Road. Frank Jr. is also the longtime chairman of the Macon Water Authority and current chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority.

"Everybody is all right," said Frank Amerson Jr. from a national water conference in Toronto, Canada. He was called this morning and informed of the basics of the situation by the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.

The hostage, Chandler Amerson, is home on summer break from the University of Georgia. Chandler Amerson takes courses at Macon State College and usually leaves by 8 a.m. to go work for his father Carl, Frank Amerson said.

Frank Amerson said the sheriff's office had given him no further details about how the home invasion played out.

For more on this story, come back to on Thursday.

Liz Fabian, Tim Sturrock, Joe Kovac Jr. and S. Heather Duncan