A federal officer of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was carjacked, kidnapped and beaten with a pistol while vacationing in Orlando, Florida. Local media reports four teenagers are in custody in connection with the kidnapping and assault.
Officer Armando Alaniz, age 44, was parked outside his hotel in Orlando when he was jumped by the four young men. One of them, a 16-year-old, was armed with a gun, according to the Orlando Sentinal. Once in control, the four youths beat him with a pistol after binding him with duct tape and zip ties.
After about two hours of driving around, the four young men abandoned the vehicle after receiving a call from the vehicle’s OnStar service. Alainz’ wife asked OnStar to locate the vehicle and call her husband after she was unable to reach him. The vehicle was abandoned with Alainz still inside, about 8 miles from the site of the kidnapping.
The sheriff’s office reported that Alainz eventually escaped his bindings and exited the vehicle. He was later taken to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital where he received four stitches for a scalp wound that was caused from the pistol-whipping.
Alainz had been involved in the seizure of more than one hundred fifty pounds of methamphetamine that was being smuggled into the United States on the Texas border. The drugs were being carried in a produce trucks, the Sentinel reported.
During a press conference reported by MyFoxOrlando – Fox 35, the kidnapping appears to have been random and Alaniz was not targeted. The kidnapping took place in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district. The suspects were tracked down because of fingerprints found in Alaniz’ vehicle. The vehicle was found across the street from a known drug house.
The young men involved in the kidnapping and assault of the officer have an extensive criminal history, the Sentinel reported.
All four of the young men are charged with armed kidnapping, carjacking with a car and aggravated battery with a firearm. The young men were aged 18, 18, 16 and 15. The juveniles are being held in the juvenile detention center pending a decision by the State’s Attorney on whether to charge them as adults. The one of the adult males is being held in the Orange County jail without bond. The other adult male has been identified and police are actively searching for him.