Hillsborough County

Family accused of holding woman, 1-year-old hostage to appear in court

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -- A family is accused of holding a Riverview woman and her child hostage and beating her over an extended period of time, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies found Silky Gaind at a home on the 9600 block of Greenbank Drive in Riverview. She had been beaten and was badly bruised.

The sheriff's office had learned her in-laws, Jasbir Kalsi and Bhupinder Kalsi, traveled to the Bay area from Punjab, India to help their son, Gaind's husband Devbir Kalsi, "counsel and discipline" his wife because they thought she was acting disobediently.

Gaind called her family in India and told them she was being beaten and held captive by her husband and in-laws. Someone associated with the family notified the HCSO, telling them Gaind was hesitant to call the cops because of cultural expectations.

When a deputy came to the home for a welfare check, he saw people inside, but no one acknowledged his presence.  He continued to knock and heard Gaind try to open the door as she screamed for help, begging the deputy to save her and her child, according to an arrest report.

The deputy forced his way into the home and was immediately confronted by her husband, Devbir Kalsi, who tried to shut the door on the officer, but was unsuccessful. As the deputy tried to place him in handcuffs, the in-laws came into the picture and also confronted the deputy.

The officer called for backup, which arrived at the home and found Gaind with bruises all over her body.

Investigators said she had been beaten over an extended period of time.

A preliminary investigation revealed Kalsi's parents had participated in holding Gaind and her child against their will. At one point, Jasbir Kalsi had held a knife to her throat. The family also confiscated her phone so she would not call the cops.

The sheriff's office said all parties involved are foreign nationals of India.

The family was taken into custody and Devbir Kalsi was charged with false imprisonment, felony battery, child abuse and denying access to 911.

Jasbir Kalsi faces charges for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon (knife), false imprisonment child abuse and denying access to 911.

Bhupinder Kalsi was charged with battery domestic violence and failure to report child abuse.

All three were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

The Florida Abuse Hotline and ICE were notified of the incident and Gaind and her child have since been provided a safe place for refuge.

"It really is heartbreaking. There's a brand new baby. But who beats their wife up and has their mother and dad help him. Who does that?" said a neighbor who chose not to be identified. "She came over and she really...she had no shoes on and she wanted to let me know what happened and I said, what do you mean and...first thing I said is I know you've had a rough day. Let me give you a hug."

"And after hearing what happened, I'm both sad and scared at the same time. And I'm upset that this was all going on right across the street from me and I couldn't do anything about it and couldn't help her," said Stephanie Payne, a different neighbor who lives across the street.



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