Pedro Portugal, 52, was kidnapped in broad daylight. A man stopped him while he was going to his car, flashed a fake police badge, then shoved him into an SUV with the help of an accomplice. The men masked him and held him at knifepoint until they reached an empty warehouse in Long Island City. He was tied to a chair and beaten and they made him call his family in Ecuador to ask for $3 million which they did not have. (CONTINUED BELOW)
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For 32 days, he was beaten, kicked, had teeth knocked out, and they poured acid on his hand. They also threatened to cut off his fingers if his family did not come up with the money. Surprisingly, they brought him a cake on his birthday.
His family in Ecuador called authorities and an investigation was launched in New York. Investigators casing the Long Island City neighborhood where Portugal was being held saw lights on on the third floor of the empty building, as well as pizza deliveries being made, which tipped them off. Six policemen disguised as building inspectors entered the warehouse and found Portugal with his hands bound. One of his captors escaped, only to be caught a short time later. Three men have been charged in the kidnapping and three more are at large.