It is a crime that, were it not for the recent sensational story of three women held in captivity in a Cleveland home for 12 years, would be hard to fathom in terms of its duration and the degree of abuse suffered by the victim. The one common thread running through both stories is that they are over, the victims returned to their families, the perpetrators in custody.
MyFoxNY reports that 52-year-old Pedro Portugal was rescued on Wednesday by NYPD detectives after being spirited off a New York street in April and held for ransom for an entire month. The three men who abducted and tortured Portugal — Christian Acuna, 35, and Dennis Alves, 32, both of Queens, and Eduardo Moncayo, 38, of Lyndhurst, N.J. — are being held without bail.
Portugal’s ordeal began on April 18, when he was approached in broad daylight on a Queens street by Moncayo, who showed him what looked like a police badge. Portugal was forced into a car, a mask was put over his face, and he was threatened with a knife. He was then driven to a Long Island City warehouse, where he would be kept for more than a month. During that time, the native of Ecuador was burned with acid, beaten, and threatened with mutilation and death.
Portugal, who was blindfolded and bound during his captivity, “suffered physical injuries and has been deeply traumatized by the ordeal,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told the judge at the suspects’ arraignment, adding, “the case warrants vigorous prosecution.”
Police first learned of the abduction the last week of April. They received a phone call made on behalf of Portugal’s mother in Ecuador, who been contacted and given a ransom demand of $3 million.
The three suspects in the case were charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. They face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.