Last month, a Queens man was grabbed off the street, thrown into an SUV, and then taken to a warehouse where he was burned with acid and beaten, while his kidnappers tried to get $3 million from the man's relatives in Ecuador in exchange for a safe release.
After being held for 32 days, Pedro Portugal was finally rescued on Monday after NYPD officers posing as building inspectors raided the Long Island City warehouse, saving the 52-year-old businessman.
"This is a terrifying story of a businessman allegedly being forcibly abducted off the streets of Queens County in broad daylight and being beaten and held against his will for more than a month while his alleged kidnappers demanded $3 million from relatives in Ecuador for his safe return,” said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney.
Portugal, a Queens resident who runs an accounting business in Jackson Heights, is not incredibly wealthy. Authorities are mystified as to why he was the target of the kidnapping, because while his family owns property in Ecuador, they were never in a position to pay $3 million.
The NYPD worked in close coordination with the State Department and Ecuadorean police to find Portugal, who was almost constantly abused by his captors. One exception to the abuse was during his birthday, when the kidnappers brought him a cake.
The captors fled the building when the NYPD arrived, and one man who jumped out a back window onto a roof was later captured.