Warrant: Former Columbus mayoral candidate attacked, kidnapped woman in Cobb

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

A former Columbus mayoral candidate was arrested Saturday and is accused of attacking and kidnapping a woman in Cobb County, police records show.

Zephaniah Dwayne Baker, who launched several unsuccessful political bids in Georgia over the past 15 years, was taken into custody just before 1 a.m. by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office on outstanding warrants out of Cobb. He is facing charges of battery family violence, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, kidnapping and cruelty to children.

According to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baker is accused of dragging the woman by her hair and arms and causing “visible marks” to her shoulder, arms, wrists, chest, hip and legs. The warrant also states that he hit the victim in the head and face, causing abrasions and swelling to her cheek, eye, forehead and ear.

The warrant details that Baker dragged the woman into his Dodge Ram and made her sit on the front passenger-side floorboard while he had a pistol in his lap. The victim’s 3-year-old was also placed inside the vehicle, according to the warrant.

He then left the Mableton home and drove the two around the metro Atlanta area before dropping them off at his parents’ home in Butler, officials said.

Baker ran for mayor of Columbus three times, losing to Teresa Tomlinson in 2010 and dropping out of the race she later won in 2014. He finished in second place in 2018, coming about 6,000 votes short of the current mayor, Skip Henderson.

The Columbus native also attempted several bids for the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2008, he was defeated by state Rep. Calvin Smyre in the race for District 132. Last year, he ran in District 140 but lost to Rep. Teddy Reese in the Democratic primary.

According to his website, Baker is also a community activist. He has been involved in or created several programs aimed at supporting mental health, helping at-risk youth combat violence, and assisting students in the community, including his Zeph Baker Foundation that awards scholarships to student-athletes.

He was booked into the Muscogee County Jail and will be taken back to Cobb County, the sheriff’s office said.