Kidnappers Tortured Victim, Also Gave Him Cake: Cops

They're accused of holding businessman in Queens for 32 days
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2013 6:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – It was a bizarre and brutal kidnapping that lasted more than a month, but at least it has a happy ending. Police say the kidnappers grabbed a 52-year-old businessman in Queens as he was walking to his car last month and brought him to a neighborhood warehouse, reports the Daily News. There Pedro Portugal remained for 32 days, while his captors beat him, broke some of his teeth, burned his hand with acid, threatened to cut off his fingers, and tried to get his family in Ecuador to pay $3 million they didn't have, reports the New York Times. In the weirdest detail of all, the kidnappers brought Portugal a cake on his birthday.

The scheme began to unravel when Portugal's family called police, prompting authorities to examine travel records of criminals who had gone back and forth to Ecuador around the time of the kidnapping. When they found a group that had rented space in a Queens warehouse, detectives showed up posing as inspectors—and freed a bound Portugal as one of his captors jumped out a back window in a failed attempt to escape. Three men have been arrested, and several others are being sought. (Read more kidnapping stories.)

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