Police Rescue Man Held for Ransom
According to Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos, Phoenix Police rescued a twenty-one-year-old (21) man who was run off the road and held for ransom earlier this week. Sergeant Martos said the victim, whose name has not been released, was driving in his vehicle in Tucson when two (2) men ran him off the road, put him into the trunk of their car, and drove him to a home in Phoenix. A media organization, contacted by the victim’s sister, notified police on Wednesday. Police said the brother-in-law of the victim was headed to Phoenix from Tucson to pay the ransom, but the Police Department’s Home Invasion Kidnapping Enforcement Team interceded. The Police team, assisted by a Special Assignments Unit, devised a plan for the brother-in-law to meet the abductors at a restaurant near 23rd Avenue and Thomas Road where they rescued the victim who was bound with duct tape around his hands and eyes. The suspects, twenty-year-old (20) Luis Alberto Cervantes and twenty-year-old (20) Gabriel Luz Hernandez, were armed with handguns when Police arrested them but were arrested without incident. Mr. Cervantes and Mr. Hernandez have been charged with kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, and weapons violations. The victim suffered minor injuries but has returned to Tucson with his family.
According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1304, “A person commits kidnapping by knowingly restraining another person with intent to: (1) hold the victim for ransom, as a shield or hostage . . . . .” Unless the perpetrator releases the victim voluntarily, without injuring the victim, to a safe place prior to arrest, kidnapping is a Class 2 Felony. If the victim is safely released before arrest, kidnapping is a Class 3 Felony. Further, many times, kidnapping charges are filed in association with other felony charges such as robbery charges, assault charges or domestic violence charges. Finally, under Arizona law, the penalties for kidnapping are severe and in many cases include jail time.
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