Published May 23, 2013
NEW YORK – Two New York City men and a New Jersey man have been charged in the kidnapping of another man off a Queens street in broad daylight, holding him for over a month and demanding a $3 million ransom from his family in Ecuador, authorities said Wednesday.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Christian Acuna, 35, and Dennis Alves, 32, both of Queens, and Eduardo Moncayo, 38, of Lyndhurst, N.J., are facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. They face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
An arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday evening. It wasn't clear if they had a lawyer.
Authorities identified the man involved as Pedro Portugal, 52. They said he was approached on a Queens street on April 18 by Moncayo, who showed him what looked like a police badge, along with two other men. He was forced into a car, a mask was put over his face, and he was threatened with a knife, authorities said.
Portugal was taken to a warehouse in the Long Island City section of Queens, where he was kept for over a month, authorities said, during which time he was burned with acid and beaten, along with being threatened with mutilation and death. He allegedly was held captive with his hands bound and masked.
Portugal "suffered physical injuries and has been deeply traumatized by the ordeal. The case warrants vigorous prosecution," Brown said.
His alleged kidnappers forced him to call his mother in Ecuador, asking for the ransom, authorities said.
Police, notified of his disappearance and the ransom call, were searching for him and found him May 20. When they got to the scene, they found Portugal with his hands bound, and took one of the suspects into custody outside of the building.