The three thugs' Valentine's Day scheme was far from tender and loving: To ambush, kidnap and rob a prominent West Mount Airy businessman.

But snowy footprints and their night-owl victim foiled their felonious plan, and one thug is now behind bars, as police seek his accomplices.

The drama began at 1 a.m. Wednesday, when three gunmen attacked a North Philadelphia man as he parked his car in front of his house, police said.

The terrorizing trio forced their victim back into his car, zapped him with a stun gun, bound him in duct tape and demanded that he direct them to his boss' house, police said. The kidnappers planned to kidnap and extort that man too, investigators later learned.

But that man - the West Mount Airy businessman, who police didn't identify - wasn't asleep when the thugs arrived.

Spotting commotion outside and sensing trouble as the punks approached his home, the businessman called police.

As 14th District police officers sped to the scene, the thugs fled, sprinting for cover behind the homes on the block, police said.

Officers followed one suspect's footprints through the snow to a back yard where they found him hiding under patio furniture, police said.

The kidnap victim - with hands and feet still bound - identified the suspect on the scene as one of his abductors.

Police charged Jameell Gaymon, 23, of Kings Place near Master Street in North Philadelphia, with robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and related offenses.

Two suspects remain on the loose, but police sources said investigators reviewed surveillance tapes from the West Mount Airy area and have developed some new leads in the case that could possibly lead them to the suspects.

Tipsters can call the Central Detective Division at 215- 686-3093 or 215-686-3094.*

Staff writer David Gambacorta contributed to this report.