Three men will now face prosecution after authorities say they kidnapped an employee of a Florida strip club.
Jeffry Arista, 32, his brother Jonathan Arista, 29, and Raymond Gomez, 42, face charges of kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap.
Authorities say the three men kidnapped the victim Friday morning and held him at gunpoint but mistakenly had the wrong person they were targeting, the victim’s Co-worker.
The suspects are also accused of holding an electric drill to the victim’s head and waterboarding him in an attempt to get him to take him to his Co-worker, a federal complaint details.
Police were called around 2 a.m. to the strip club in Pompano Beach for a bomb threat. But when cops arrived the man told them about his violent encounter, adding that he was tortured and threatened.
The victim said he left his Fort Lauderdale home around 7:30 a.m. and when he was about to get into his car, a man wearing police attire and a facemask holding a handgun approached the victim, Law and Crime reported.
The kidnapper forced him into the backseat of a white Dodge Charger with tinted windows.
Two of the kidnappers then put a black head covering over his head so he couldn’t see where they were going. They also threw his phone out the window before taking him to an Airbnb in Plantation and forcing him inside.
Once inside they removed his face covering and the third suspect appeared. The men eventually realized they had snagged the wrong person after the victim was asked to identify himself.
The mistaken identity likely happened because the victim had borrowed the intended target, his co-worker’s car the day before. The trip demanded to know “where the money was,” money that the co-worker allegedly owed them, and then demanded that the victim tell them his co-worker’s whereabouts.
“The kidnappers threatened the victim by putting an electric drill to his skin and pointing firearms towards his head,” the complaint reads. “At one point, the kidnappers forced the victim into a bathroom inside the residence where they covered his face with four or five black masks and poured buckets of water on him, effectively waterboarding him. During this time, the victim thought he was going to drown.”
The group of men then told the victim to call his Co-worker in an attempt to get him to meet up. Twelve hours later, the co-worker texted the victim saying he was at the strip club.
The kidnappers drove to the location in a Porsche and ordered the victim to go inside and lure out the intended target, but once inside the victim called law enforcement, the affidavit said.
All three suspects were taken into custody, NBC South Florida News reported.
According to the affidavit, Gomez reportedly told investigators that he and the Arista brothers were involved in the kidnapping at the direction of an unknown man, who wanted the actual target kidnapped over a monetary debt.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, authorities said.