On Monday, 52-year-old Pedro Portugal was finally rescued after over a month in captivity. Authorities say Portugal was plucked off the street of Queens last month then taken to a warehouse in Long Island City where he was beaten and burned with acid. All of this while his captors attempted to secure $3 million from his family in Ecuador for his return.
Authorities tracked the calls from Ecuador, and NYPD officers were able to save him by showing up to the warehouse disguised as building inspectors. They reportedly discovered him bound with cloth and duct tape. Authorities are confused by the ransom plot, because while Portugal does run an accounting business and his family does own land in Ecuador, there's no way they could pay the $3 million.
Three men—38-year-old Eduardo Moncayo, 35-year-old Christian Acuna and 32-year-old Dennis Alves—were arrested and charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. If convicted, they could each face 25 years to life in prison.
Gothamist notes that Portugal's captors were at least kind enough to buy him a cake on his birthday.